More than 1,000 children, many under the age of five, in 35 countries are thought to have been affected by a rare surge of severe hepatitis, some of which needed life-saving liver transplants. The BBC reveals that UK experts believe they have finally identified the cause of the recent appearance of mysterious liver problems affecting young children globally.
The two teams of researchers, from London and Glasgow, say infants exposed to these two viruses later than normal missed out on some early immunity. This is due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. The two viruses are:
This could explain why some developed rare and serious liver conditions as a result of an extreme immune response to the two viruses.
Scientists have ruled out any connection with coronavirus or Covid vaccines.
One of the investigators, Prof Judith Breuer, an expert in virology, at University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital, said: “During the lockdown period when children were not mixing, they were not transmitting viruses to each other. They were not building up immunity to the common infections they would normally encounter.”
Experts in the UK believe that cases are lessening as of recently though they are still on alert for new ones.
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