“Earlier this year, physicians in the United Kingdom raised alarm over an apparent surge in cases of unexplained severe acute hepatitis in children.

By late June, the U.K. reported 258 cases, 12 of which required liver transplants, up from about 20 in a normal year.

As of mid-July, 35 countries reported more than 1000 probable cases, including 22 deaths, with most cases occurring in Europe.

Canada has reported 23 cases so far, two of which required liver transplants. An expert told CMAJ that’s roughly the number you would expect to see given the size of Canada’s population.

It’s not unusual for the causes of severe liver inflammation in children to be unknown – by some estimates, up to half of such cases are unexplained. And it’s still unclear whether the numbers reported globally reflect a true uptick in unexplained cases versus increased attention to the issue.”

More on Emerging clues to unexplained pediatric hepatitis via CMAJ.

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