The detection of two cases of acute hepatitis in children was announced by the Ministry of Health of Cyprus. According to a relevant announcement, the incidents concern children aged 5 and 4, who fell ill in November 2021 and March 2022, respectively, and are of unclear etiology.
The announcement of the Ministry of Health of Cyprus is as follows:
The Ministry of Health is closely monitoring the increase in cases of acute hepatitis of unclear etiology in children under 16 years of age, mainly 2-5 years old, which has recently been recorded in Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Many of the cases reported gastrointestinal symptoms mainly abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and often followed by jaundice. Most cases did not have a fever.
The international health organizations (WHO, ECDC, CDC) work together to identify the causative agent, while the data so far indicate a specific type of adenovirus (type 41) as the predominant cause. At the same time, an investigation is carried out to rule out other causative factors or possible cofactors. It is noted that the usual hepatitis viruses (A to E) were not detected. Cases have been investigated since October 2021 and the association of these cases as a side effect against the COVID-19 vaccine has not been confirmed, as the vast majority of children do not have a history of vaccination.
The Ministry of Health, based on the above, and based on the definition set by the ECDC and announced in recent days, informs about the identification of two cases of acute hepatitis of unknown etiology that meet the definition in children aged 5 and 4 years, got sick in November 2021 and March 2022 respectively.
If parents notice symptoms in children (generalized malaise, dark urine, stool discoloration and jaundice, yellowing of the skin and eyes) they are urged to contact their doctor.
It is recommended to observe measures such as hand hygiene, avoiding contact with the nose, eyes, mouth and covering the nose and mouth, or covering the inside of the elbow in coughing or sneezing. In addition, it is recommended to stay at home in case of symptoms and avoid contact with a person who shows symptoms.
The Ministry of Health continues to monitor what is happening in relation to the cases of acute hepatitis and in close cooperation with the clinicians records the possible presence of relevant cases.