6 Sep, 2022 @ 17:04
1 min read

Spain detects 48 cases among children of severe acute hepatitis of unknown origin 

Hepatitis B
Image Cordon Press

A total of 48 cases of severe acute hepatitis have been diagnosed among children in Spain during the first eight months of the year. That’s according to the latest Health Ministry report on the disease, which was released on Tuesday. None of the cases were linked. 

According to the ministry report, three of the children were ill enough to require a liver transplant. Tragically, two of them did not survive. The victims were both boys, aged six and one. 

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Spain detects 48 cases among children of severe acute hepatitis of unknown origin. Image Turo Park Clinics

Of the 48 cases, 16 were detected in Madrid, nine in Cataluña, five in Galicia, four on the Balearic Islands, three in Murcia, three in Castilla-La Mancha, three in Murcia and one each in the Valencia region and the Canary Islands.

In total, 30 of the cases were girls and 18 were boys, with the highest number in the zero-to-five age group. 

According to a statement released in July by the World Health Organization, 35 countries had reported 1,010 probable cases of severe acute hepatitis in children, including 22 deaths, between April and July of this year. The WHO’s figures showed that 48% had come from Europe, with 27% in the United Kingdom. 

The WHO added that work was underway to identify common exposures, risk factors and links between cases given the higher-than-expected rates being registered in as many as 17 countries. 

“Given the detection of two serious cases in Spain and the major interest on an international level to get a better knowledge of […] paediatric hepatitis, it is considered to be important to continue monitoring and researching the situation,” the Spanish Health Ministry said in its report.


Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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