Cases of childhood hepatitis of unknown origin, first identified in the UK, have been detected in children in four other European countries, the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) announced on Tuesday. ).

Cases in the United States

"Following the reported cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin by the British Health Security Agency" in early April, "additional cases in children have been reported in Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain" , indicates the European agency in a press release.

Nine suspected cases have also been identified in children aged 1 to 6 in Alabama in the United States, according to the ECDC.

“Investigations are continuing in all countries reporting cases.

Currently, the exact cause of hepatitis remains unknown,” writes the ECDC, but British investigators “consider an infectious cause to be the most likely due to the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of the cases.”

No deaths so far

On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it expected new reports in the coming days and had already reported "less than five" cases in Ireland and three in Spain.

No deaths have been recorded but some British cases have required liver transplantation.

"Laboratory investigations of the cases excluded viral hepatitis types A, B, C, D and E in all cases," according to the ECDC.

The United Kingdom initially reported 10 cases of severe hepatitis in Scotland to the WHO on April 5, before reporting a total of 74 three days later, according to the UN organization.

Among the UK cases, "many cases showed signs of jaundice".

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