The medical community around the world is on alert after the outbreak of acute hepatitis cases in children in various countries.

The most worrying thing of all, is the fact that some of the children who got sick (about 10%) needed a liver transplant, a development that shows the severity of the condition.

At the same time, experts are sounding the alarm, strssing that adenovirus 41 is extremely difficult to contain, as it is even more contagious than Covid-19.

Professor Gikas Magiorkinis spoke about the issue to MEGA channel, stressing that: “The best data we have at our disposal comes from the United Kingdom and concerns 111 cases of children. What is worrying is that a number of them, about 10, had to undergo a liver transplant.”

Liver transplant cannot be done in Greece

As he pointed out, liver transplant cannot be done in Greece. “Such a procedure, i.e. liver transplant, can only be done abroad. There will also be some cases of hepatitis in Greece, with 5% – 10% of them being severe”.

Earlier, speaking to ERT channel, he said that “it is difficult to limit the spread of acute hepatitis that affects children around the world.”

From the data we have so far there are cases in many countries that are not related to each other.

Mr. Magiorkinis stressed that “If the main cause of these cases is adenovirus 41, it is extremely difficult to contain it, as it is even more contagious than Covid-19”.

Who is more likely to get sick?

Professor Elias Mosialos spoke about the cases of hepatitis as well as the causes for the outbreak of the cases.

“Adenovirus 41 is considered the most likely cause, at the moment, although it has not been found in all children,” said Elias Mosialos, among other things, trying to explain where acute hepatitis in children comes from.

“Children are more susceptible to viruses as they have not been exposed to too many of them. One would expect this to happen mainly to countries that have implemented a zero Covid policy. That is, to have many more cases in these countries. However, the weather conditions can also affect the outbreak of cases as they differ from continent to continent”, said characteristically the professor of Health Policy at LSE.

“This means that in countries in Southeast Asia that have had harsh lockdown policies or in New Iceland, i.e. countries that have implemented zero Covid policies, there will be a flurry of such cases. We have not seen it happening yet, we will probably see it in a few months, maybe in 2-3 months from now. Adenovirus 41 also causes such forms of hepatitis, but mainly in immunocompromised children” he added.

Is there a correlation with Covid-19?

Continuing, Mr. Mosialos said: “It is not ruled out – this is what Israeli doctors have said – that children with hepatitis were previously infected with Covid-19, but they cannot prove it somehow. In other words, most of the children being infected with hepatits (12 so far) have been infected with Covid-19 about 3.5 months earlier “.

“The vast majority of sick children were not vaccinated”

“The vast majority of children who have been infected with this form of hepatitis, the etiology of which is unknown until now, had not been vaccinated. We have 169 reported cases now in 12 countries. Unfortunately, 12 children have had a liver transplant and one has passed away,” explained Mr. Mosialos.

“Today, there are 2 billion children under the age of 14 around the world. So, the problem is not that important yet. However, there is always the possibility of the problem to aggravate”, he added.

“However, cases of hepatitis will increase in various countries”, he added, “That is, if we are talking about 20-30 cases in our country, the problem is not as important as it would be if we were talking about 5,000-10,000 cases. Therefore, we have to wait a while “, Mr. Mosialos concluded.