A Dutch report reports that four young patients have been registered in Groningen with acute hepatitis of unknown origin and that three have undergone liver transplants in Groningen. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cases have also been reported from at least twelve other countries, and at least one child has died because of a liver infection.
According to health authorities, the infection has been diagnosed in children and adolescents up to the age of sixteen in recent months. However, it cannot be caused by any of the known illnesses. Nu.nl reports that several cases were discovered earlier.
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At the time of this writing, 169 cases have been reported, the majority of which have been reported in the United Kingdom. There have also been cases found in other countries in addition to the Netherlands, such as the U.S., Spain, Israel, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, France, Romania and Belgium.
In 17 different situations, doctors have ordered liver transplants. Nu.nl reports that the youngest sufferer is a baby only one-month-old, who was diagnosed with the disease.
There were no concrete details as to whether this was actually a rise in hepatitis cases or merely an increase in public awareness of the disease, the WHO said in a statement.