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Current Affairs

Mystery liver disease

Date: 20 April 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Investigations are being carried out regarding a mysterious liver disease in children across countries such as the US and the United Kingdom.

 

Background

Apart from US and UK, the disease has been reported from countries such as Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands.

 

Details

  • The health officials recorded 74 cases of hepatitis (liver inflammation) in children since January 2022.

  • Investigations revealed that hepatitis viruses (A, B, C, D and E) were not involved. In some cases, adenoviruses and SARS-CoV-2 were detected.

 

Cause of illness

  • Infectious hepatitis causing virus (hepatitis A and E) were not detected. The potential causes of the mysterious disease could be a group of viruses called adenoviruses.

  • They usually cause respiratory illness such as common cold and majority of people recover without any health scares.

  • In rare cases, hepatitis can be a rare complication resulting from the virus. Transmission from human to human is possible.

 

Symptoms observed

  • The affected children showed symptoms of gastrointestinal illness and varying degrees of liver injury including liver failure. 

  • Experts believe in adenovirus theory as up to half of the children with liver infection in the UK have tested positive for it.

 

Hepatitis

  • Hepatitis is a condition that affects the liver and can be life threatening if not treated. Causing agents are various strains of hepatitis virus.

  • Symptoms of the disease include dark urine, pale and grey-coloured stool, itchy skin, yellowing of the eyes and skin, high temperature, muscle and joint pain and loss of appetite.