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Two suspected cases of new type of child hepatitis found in France

The disease is affecting children aged under 10. Cases have also been discovered in several other countries

Two suspected cases of a new form of hepatitis have been detected in France Pic: Beenicebeelove / Shutterstock

Several dozen children under 10 years of age and suffering from a previously unknown form of acute hepatitis have been hospitalised in various countries around the world. 

“Following the reporting of acute hepatitis cases of an unknown origin from the UK Health Security Agency,” at the beginning of the month, “additional cases have been reported among children in Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain,” the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control announced in a statement yesterday (April 19).

Some 74 cases have been detected in the UK, nine in the US, three in Spain and a handful of others in Denmark, Ireland and the Netherlands. 

Two hepatitis cases are also being investigated in Lyon, France and experts believe they may belong to this unknown form. 

The cases which have already been confirmed do not belong to hepatitis A, B, C, D or E, with new patients expected to emerge in the coming days.

However, for the moment: “the emergence of two cases is not unexpected and does not currently reflect an excess of cases in France,” Santé publique France has said. 

Researchers in the UK have suggested that “the most probable cause is an infectious disease based on the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of the cases.” 

“There is a virus which is called adenovirus which has been found, not universally, but in a certain number of the cases, so it is one of our hypotheses,” said Professor Yazdan Yazdanpanah of the Hôpital Bichat in Paris. 

None of the cases have yet resulted in death but some of the British patients have needed a liver transplant.

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