1 child has died in a mysterious liver disease outbreak

BERLIN (AP) — The World Health Organization says at least one death has been reported in connection with a mysterious outbreak of liver disease affecting children in Europe and the United States.

The United Nations health agency said on Saturday evening that it had so far received reports of at least 169 cases of “acute hepatitis of unknown origin” from a dozen countries.

Cases have been reported in children aged one month to 16 years, and 17 of those who fell ill required liver transplants. The WHO did not specify in which country the death occurred.

The first cases were recorded in Great Britain, where 114 children were sick.

“It is not yet clear whether there has been an increase in hepatitis cases, or an increase in awareness of hepatitis cases that are occurring at the expected rate but going undetected,” the official said. WHO in a statement.

Experts say the cases may be linked to a virus commonly associated with the common cold, but further research is ongoing.

“Although adenovirus is a possible hypothesis, investigations are ongoing for the causative agent,” the WHO said, noting that the virus was detected in at least 74 of the cases. At least 20 of the children have tested positive for coronavirus.

The WHO said affected countries are stepping up surveillance for cases of hepatitis in children.

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