France worried soon?

It’s an epidemic strange and alarming ‘ according to the journal Science. On April 5, 10 cases of severe acute hepatitis in children under the age of 10 in central Scotland were reported to the World Health Organization (WHO). Three days later, a total of 74 children had been hospitalized for the same reason in the UK: 49 in England, 13 in Scotland and 12 in Wales and Northern Ireland. None died, but some had to undergo liver transplants.

Three other cases have been reported in Spain. according to science, Clinicians in Denmark and the Netherlands also report similar cases “. Across the Atlantic, some children may be suffering from the same disease. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) announced on April 15, ” an increase in hepatitis in young children ».

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Problem: The perpetrator remains unknown. None of the viruses responsible for hepatitis A, B, C, D or E were detected in the children. However, the symptoms are characteristic of this disease: dark urine, light-colored stools, yellowed skin and eyes, vomiting, nausea… However, if cases are increasing worldwide, it is possible that some will soon be detected in France. .

Increase in future cases

The WHO therefore expects the number of patients to increase in the coming days. ” Given the increase in reported cases over the past month and improved case finding activity, more cases are likely to be reported in the coming days. ‘ the UN organization states. ” From the moment it affects several geographical areas, several countries, it is possible (cases will be detected in France, ed.) “, estimated in the columns of Parisians Professor Yazdan Yazdanpanah, infectious disease specialist.

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But it’s hard to know how the disease will spread until the culprit is known. The main suspect is currently an adenovirus. This family of viruses is generally responsible for mild colds, sometimes vomiting or diarrhea, but rarely leading to hepatitis. In Alabama, all children hospitalized for this hepatitis tested positive for the adenovirus, as did half of the patients in the UK. However, it is transmitted by droplet infection. Therefore, if it is indeed the cause of this hepatitis, the disease could spread to other countries, including France.

find the culprit

It is therefore important to comply with certain hygiene measures. In a statement, Meera Chand, from the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA), stressed that washing hands helps. reduce many of the infections we have studied and urged parents and carers to watch for signs of hepatitis. In addition to the adenovirus, other infections could also be responsible for this mysterious epidemic. A connection with Covid-19, for example, cannot be ruled out, since some of the children tested positive for Sras-Cov-2 at the time of their hospitalization or shortly before.

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It could also be that the disease is related to exposure to a toxin, for example via food, but this hypothesis is not favored. It is also impossible to rule out the possibility that there is not necessarily a connection between these cases of hepatitis. From this perspective, there would be no particular reason for the disease to reach France. The cases detected in the coming days will make it possible to learn more about the origin of the disease, in particular by studying a possible risk of contagion.

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