BERLIN (AP) – The World Health Organization has said at least one death has been reported in connection with a mysterious outbreak of liver disease that has affected children in Europe and the United States.
The UN Health Agency said late Saturday that it has so far received reports of at least 169 cases of “acute hepatitis of unknown origin” from a dozen countries.
Cases have been reported in children aged 1 month to 16 years, and 17 of those who fell ill required a liver transplant. The WHO does not say in which country the death occurred.
The first cases were reported in the UK, where 114 children fell ill.
“It is unclear whether the number of hepatitis cases has increased or whether there has been an increase in awareness of hepatitis cases that occur at the expected rate but go unnoticed,” the WHO said in a statement.
“Although adenovirus is a possible hypothesis, an investigation into the pathogen is ongoing,” the WHO said, noting that the virus has been detected in at least 74 cases. At least 20 children tested positive for coronavirus.
The WHO said the affected countries are stepping up surveillance of hepatitis in children.
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