More Mystery Liver Disease Deaths Were Reported & The WHO Sees No Link To COVID Vaccines

Cases have been reported in 20 countries.

A child at a hospital. Right: A child getting a vaccine.
Global Staff Writer

A child at a hospital. Right: A child getting a vaccine.

A mysterious liver-damaging disease, the origin of which is unknown, has now caused multiple deaths and cases have been reported in 20 different countries, health officials say.

According to the World Health Organization, there are at least 228 probable cases of acute hepatitis and more that are under investigation.

The WHO said cases of severe hepatitis have been reported in young, generally healthy children.

Many cases involved symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain, and later, signs of jaundice. Some patients have required liver transplants, and at least four deaths have now been reported.

The WHO has called the disease "acute, severe hepatitis of unknown origin."

"The common viruses that cause acute viral hepatitis (hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D and E) have not been detected in any of these cases," it said.

Speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday, Dr. Philippa Easterbrook said they are "looking at all possible infectious and non-infectious causes" of the disease.

"The question about a link to COVID vaccines are not supported as still the majority of children, especially the younger age groups, had not received the vaccine," she said.

Easterbrook added that there is "no link to one geographic area, or common exposure to particular foods or animals, travel or to toxins" in the cases.

A few weeks ago, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a national health alert about hepatitis of unknown origin in children.

The WHO said on April 23 that at least one death had been reported. Since then, three more deaths have been reported in Indonesia, reported CBS News.

Adenovirus has been detected in some of the cases, but Easterbrook said more investigation is needed.

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

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