No reported instances of acute hepatitis of unknown origin impacting kids in Guelph

Severe acute hepatitis impacting children around the world, leading to some needing liver transplants, has not been detected in Guelph.

Guelph General Hospital spokesperson Perry Hagerman said the hospital has not seen any cases, and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is reporting the health unit is not aware of any local cases within its jurisdiction.

“Hospitals have been directed to report cases directly to Public Health Ontario, since investigation is being centralized provincially,” Danny Williamson, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health’s spokesperson, told the Mercury Tribune via email.

“However, PHO will notify us if/when there is a case being investigated in our jurisdiction; this hasn’t happened yet.”

Earlier this week, the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto confirmed it had seen seven possible cases of severe acute hepatitis — which causes inflammation of the liver — between Oct. 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022.

“It remains to be seen whether this number represents an increase in cases of unknown origin compared to similar time periods in previous years or if any of these cases will be confirmed to be caused by a novel clinical entity,” according to a May 9 statement by the hospital.

On Tuesday, Manitoba’s Shared Health confirmed the province’s first case of the virus.

According to the Toronto Star, nearly 300 cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin have been reported worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced last month about one in 10 of the 169 cases known at that time resulted in a liver transplant, and at least one child had died.

The hepatitis viruses that normally cause the condition were not detected in any of the children, although some of the children tested positive for an adenovirus, according to the WHO. Some also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

WHO reports these cases are being found in youth aged one month through to 16 years old.

— with files from the Toronto Star

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