Following the emergence of acute hepatitis in previously healthy children in the UK, an estimated 55 such cases have so far occurred in the European Economic Area (EEA) – two in Austria and one in Germany. Twelve EEA countries have now recorded suspected or confirmed cases, according to a risk assessment by the EU health authority ECDC published on Thursday evening.
As reported, two children with liver inflammation of unclear origin are currently being treated in Vienna’s St. Anna Children’s Hospital in Austria. The illness of a five-year-old child was reported from Germany: It was hospitalized in January with symptoms of acute hepatitis and had previously suffered from gastrointestinal problems. The child tested positive for adenovirus but negative for the corona virus. No further information was given.
The EEA includes the 27 countries of the European Union as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. So far, there have been cases in this area in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Poland, Romania and Spain.
According to the ECDC, the incidence is very low, even if there is no systematic surveillance. Since the pathogen is still unknown, the risk for the child population cannot be precisely estimated at this time. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported on the first German case on Tuesday evening. The onset of the disease was therefore already in January. No further details were given.