Acute hepatitis of Unknown Origin In Children

A mysterious liver disease, acute hepatitis among young children was reported across the globe if you have already known from the newspaper. According to WHO latest press release on 26 April 2022, there were at least 169 cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin among young children aged 1 month to 16 years which involve countries like the UK and Northern Ireland, Spain, Israel, the US, Denmark, Ireland, The Netherlands, Italy, Norway, France, Romania, and Belgium. 10% of the children need a liver transplant and one death has been reported on 21 April 2022.

In Asia, 3 children from Indonesia have died from the mysterious liver disease and one infant about 10 months old in Singapore was found to have the acute hepatitis with unknown cause. On 6th May, 2022. Ministry of Health (MOH), Malaysia has just announced to the media that a 4-year-old boy from Sabah needs a liver transplant, suspected acute hepatitis of unknown origin reported internationally.

This is alarming and the experts are unable to decide the cause of the disease for the time being. The laboratory testing have been conducted on this virus but none of them have matched with the viruses that cause the common known hepatitis such as A, B, C D and E. So far, there is also no evidence that showing this disease is related to the covid-19 vaccine as majority of the young children have not received any Covid-19 vaccine yet.

Investigations are still ongoing to decide whether these four cases found in Indonesia, one each from Malaysia and Singapore are similar to cases reported by WHO. Initial investigations suggest that it could be due to adenovirus infections as most cases reported are tested positive for adenovirus. Adenovirus is a common virus that causes respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, not a typical virus that will cause hepatitis in healthy children. However, it is still too soon to conclude any findings thus far, more laboratory testing and investigations will be conducted to find out the root causes.

As parents who have young children at home, we shall always be alert on the upcoming news related to this issue, and we will provide the latest news updates at our best to our readers too.

Acute Hepatitis of Unknown Origin

This acute hepatitis is an inflammation of liver disease caused by an unknown virus. It looks like the emergence of a possible new disease that only affects healthy children under 10 years old, mostly without underlying conditions. Watch out for the symptoms highlighted by WHO related to this acute hepatitis, and seek medical help immediately when you suspect your children may have some similar symptoms below:


The symptoms of hepatitis include

  1. abdominal pain
  2. diarrhoea
  3. vomiting
  4. jaundice
  5. elevated liver enzymes
  6. negative test for hepatitis A,B,C,D and E.

Children who are jaundice with other acute hepatitis symptoms such as dark urine, grey stools, loss of appetite,and fatigue shall be sent to hospital immediately for treatment.

Acute hepatitis of Unknown Origin

What shall we do for the time being?

Since there is no further information related to this acute hepatitis, experts suggested:

  • Keep practicing good personal hygiene like handwashing and good respiratory hygiene, it will help to reduce spread of many infections including adenovirus infections.
  • Children who are unwell, shall stay at home until symptoms have stopped before they are reassessed to be fit to return school.
  • Parents shall be aware of the symptoms of hepatitis, if your child has similar symptoms including jaundice, seek for medical help immediately.

With this article, hope to create some awareness and general understanding about this new emergence of possible disease which may lead to serious complications or death.

Related post ” Covid-19 vaccine is safe for children aged 5-11?,

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