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The Argentina Ministry of Health reported this week a case of severe acute hepatitis of unknown origin in an 8-year-old boy at the Children’s Hospital in the north of the city of Rosario, Santa Fe.

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

The head of the Liver and Transplant Unit Hepatic of the Children’s Sanatorium, Alejandro Costaguta, explained that “the patient was admitted on the night of April 4 at our service and The first studies are being done. He was referred due to his case and whether or not he requires a liver transplant is being evaluated. What we know from contacts with doctors who treated him at the North Zone Children’s Hospital is that the child underwent a particularly severe from a hepatitis that has been developing in recent weeks.

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On Thursday, country health officials reports that eight suspected cases have been registered in the country that are under study and epidemiological investigation by the jurisdictions and have not yet been classified as serious hepatitis of unknown origin.

They highlight that these are isolated cases and without any connection between them.

Globally, at least 95 cases of acute hepatitis among children aged 16 and under have been reported from 15 EU/EEA countries (Austria [2], Belgium [3], Cyprus [2], Denmark [6], France [2], Germany [1], Ireland [<5], Italy [35], the Netherlands [6], Norway [2], Poland [1], Portugal [4], Romania [4], Slovenia [1] and Spain [22]). Among these cases, at least 13 have tested positive for adenovirus, at least three tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and five cases have required a liver transplant.

In the UK, a total of 145 children, aged 10 and under, with acute hepatitis of unknown etiology have been identified. Of these cases, 10 children have received a liver transplant. The cases are predominantly children under 5 years old who initially presented with gastrointestinal symptoms (such as diarrhea and nausea) followed by the onset of jaundice and acute hepatitis.

And outside the UK and Europe: Cases have been reported by Argentina [2], Costa Rica [1], Indonesia [3], Israel [12], Japan [3], Panama [1], Palestine [1], Serbia [1], Singapore [1] and the United States [at least 35].