A child in Japan has been diagnosed with an acute liver disease with an unknown origin, Canada also has reported such cases which makes the global count of this disease to 200. Health authorities in Japan on 21st April reported that a child was infected with this disease which causes the inflammation of the liver. The boy apparently had never had a liver transplant. Globally over 190 cases of this disease have been reported within few days with highest being in Europe, about 150 and UK accounting the highest with 110 patients. USA and Israel also reported some cases previously. 17 of the children got seriously ill and urgently had to get a liver transplant. WHO has stated that 1 death has been linked to this disease until now.
Hepatitis being an infection of the liver causes the liver to fail and destroys it. Transplant is needed for the liver otherwise patient may die. The first case in UK was found in January this year and USA was found in October last year. The highest number of cases were found in infants and children up to the age of 16. The children had symptoms of diarrhea, jaundice and lower abdominal pain and elevated enzymes of liver. Although hepatitis is caused by one or several contagious viruses, so such viruses were found in the children. Health Agencies in UK have theorized that this may have caused due to the children’s insufficient exposure to adenovirus. Adenovirus causes colds and upset stomach but since the pandemic occurred it may have led to more serious illnesses amongst the children. Researchers are looking into the possibility of adenovirus mutations or it may have merged with SARS virus.
There are further reports which state that the affected children haven’t been travelling. And haven’t been in contact with each other and have been otherwise healthy before getting infected. Countries have put their health agencies on alert and many countries have started to monitor possible cases.