The World Health Organization (WHO) has received reports of 1,010 probable cases of acute childhood hepatitis, of which 22 children have died and 46 have required liver transplants. These reports are coming from 35 countries around the world. The WHO warns that cases may be underreported mainly due to the limitations of healthcare and vigilance systems implemented for the surveillance of this disease.
Most cases are concentrated in two regions: the EU with 484 infections, of which the UK has 272; and the Americas with 435 cases, including 334 in the US. Since the last report published on June 24, 2022, 90 more cases have been reported and Luxemburg and Costa Rica were added to the list of countries with reported infections.
On July 11, WHO launched an online survey to determine the incidence of severe acute hepatitis of unknown origin in comparison to the past five years. This survey aims to understand where cases and liver transplants are occurring at higher-than-expected rates. WHO shared the voluntary survey with nine regional networks of pediatric hepatologists and other specialists to release the interim results a soon as possible.
“Although it is a severe disease in children and of concern, its occurrence remains rare,” said Rubén Mayorga, Head of Tuberculosis, HIV, Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections, PAHO. However, he highlighted the importance of keeping up with protective measures to control the disease “we must continue to monitor the situation and investigate probable cases,” as reported by MBN.
In Mexico, the latest update regarding cases of acute childhood hepatitis was published in May 2022. “We are aware of the patients that have been diagnosed with hepatitis in both private and public institutions. They are children from different ages. We are monitoring them to evaluate how they develop and will share with you the complete information,” said Alma Rosa Marroquín Escamilla, Nuevo Leon’s Ministry of Health, as reported by MBN. The Mexican Government has not made any new official statement regarding the current situation in Mexico.