Second case of severe acute hepatitis in child identified in Manitoba

The province has identified a second case of severe acute hepatitis in a child in Manitoba.

On Thursday, a provincial spokesperson told CTV News that a total of two pediatric cases of severe acute hepatitis of unknown origin have been identified since October 2021. The cases are now under investigation, but the province said it is unable to share details of the cases to protect patient privacy.

This comes after Shared Health confirmed one pediatric case of severe acute hepatitis on Tuesday.

The province said symptoms of acute hepatitis include jaundice, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Fevers may also be a symptom, though the province said it has been rare in cases.

There have been 348 probable cases that have been identified in 21 countries as of Tuesday, according to the World Health Organization. Of these cases, 26 children have required liver transplants.

The WHO issued an alert on April 15 highlighting several cases that were identified among children in the United Kingdom.

The WHO said at this point the etiology (the cause or set of causes) has not been identified. It is working with the affected countries to collect data and conduct studies, and expects there will be more evidence to determine the causes in the coming weeks.

As for the two cases identified in Manitoba, the provincial spokesperson said it remains to be seen whether this is an increase in cases of unknown origins compared to previous years, or if the cases will be confirmed to be caused by a novel clinical entity.

The province said more details about severe acute hepatitis can be found online

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