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Mysterious Liver Disease: All You Need to Know About it

A mysterious liver illness attacking only children was brought to the notice of the World Health Organization (WHO) early this month (Image: Shutterstock)

As of now, over 169 cases are being investigated in the United Kingdom (UK), while the United States has reported 9 similar cases of this mysterious liver disease

A mysterious liver illness attacking only children was brought to the notice of the World Health Organization (WHO) earlier this month. As of now, over 169 cases are being investigated in the United Kingdom (UK), while the United States has reported 9 similar cases of this mysterious liver disease. 13 cases have been reported in Spain, 12 in Israel, and some in Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, France, Romania, and Belgium.

It has become a major cause of concern as the illness is not being explained by known causes. Earlier it was assumed that the outbreak might be only in Europe and the US, but on April 25, Japan reported that it found one probable case of the same illness, raising fear of widespread disease.

All you need to know about this mystery disease

  • Children between the age of 1 and 6 years are becoming the victim of this liver disease.
  • The symptoms of this illness are said to be general liver diseases like hepatitis or liver inflammation. Other symptoms of hepatitis include fatigue, loss of appetite, dark urine, light colour stool, joint pain, jaundice (when the skin or the whites of the eyes turn yellow), diarrhoea and abdominal pain.
  • As the root cause of the disease is unknown, it is assumed that it might be related to some kind of virus usually associated with colds.
  • Though no casualties have taken place so far in the US and the UK, the disease has been reported to be severe. Six children were in need of liver transplants as well.
  • Such illness is usually caused by hepatitis type A, B, C, and E but laboratory testing has ruled out the possibility. The role of international travel, if any, is not yet known.
  • Some of the European children, with the liver illness, also tested positive for adenovirus, while some tested positive for Covid-19.
  • The UK reported a spike in severe hepatitis among children since January. Alabama in the US has emerged as one hotspot for the disease.

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