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A Mystery Liver Disease Has Caused Its First Death & The WHO Says Its Origin Is 'Unknown'

It's affecting kids in several countries 😟

Global Staff Writer
Children in the hospital.

Children in the hospital.

The World Health Organization is reporting the first known death from a mystery liver-damaging disease that's been hitting children in the U.S. and several countries across Europe.

The WHO confirmed over the weekend that "at least one death has been reported" due to the "acute hepatitis of unknown origin," although it didn't share details about the child involved.

There have been 169 confirmed cases of the disease as of April 21 in 11 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Spain, France, Norway, Romania, Israel, Belgium, Denmark, Italy and The Netherlands.

Of all the cases, 17 children have required a liver transplant which makes up 10% of the diagnosis, the WHO says.

The CDC issued a national health alert on April 21 after multiple cases were recorded in the U.S. going back to last October.

Symptoms of this unknown hepatitis include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and jaundice.

The virus which usually causes hepatitis A, B, C, D and E was not detected in the cases of this disease, although the adenovirus, which is somewhat related to hepatitis, was detected in 74 of the patients. The WHO also reports that 20 of the patients had both the adenovirus and COVID-19.

The cases are being reported in children as young as one month old to 16 years old.

More than 100 cases have been recorded in Britain, which has reported the first cases of the unknown disease. The WHO also reported that there's been an increase in cases of adenovirus in the country in recent weeks.

Countries worldwide are keeping an eye on cases of the disease and hepatitis in children, reported ABC News.

"Further work is required to identify additional cases, both in currently affected countries and elsewhere," said the WHO.

"The priority is to determine the cause of these cases to further refine control and prevention actions."

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

    Sameen Chaudhry
    Global Staff Writer
    Sameen Chaudhry is a Staff Writer for Narcity’s Global Desk focused on TikTok drama and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
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