Health officials say they have detected more cases of a mysterious liver disease in children that was first identified in Britain, with new infections spreading to Europe and the US.
Last week, British officials reported 74 cases of hepatitis, or liver inflammation, found in children since January.
The usual viruses that cause infectious hepatitis were not seen in the cases, and scientists and doctors are considering other possible sources, including Covid-19, other viruses and environmental factors.
In a statement on Tuesday, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said additional cases of hepatitis had been identified in Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain, without specifying exactly how many cases were found.
Following the reports of cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin by the @UKHSA, additional cases in children have been reported in #Denmark, #Ireland, the #Netherlands, and #Spain.https://t.co/TESh75rH4A
— ECDC Outbreaks (@ECDC_Outbreaks) April 19, 2022
It said US officials spotted nine cases of acute hepatitis in Alabama in children aged one to six.
“Mild hepatitis is very common in children following a range of viral infections, but what is being seen at the moment is quite different,” said Graham Cooke, a professor of infectious diseases at Imperial College London.