Suspected childhood hepatitis cases have increased to at least 228 worldwide, resulting in one confirmed death and four additional fatalities conceivably caused by the mystery illness, the World Health Organization declared Tuesday. The WHO’s Tarik Jasarevic told a Geneva press briefing that the international health agency presently has severe liver inflammation cases in young children in at least 20 countries. “As of May 1, at least 228 probable cases were reported to WHO from 20 countries with over 50 additional cases under investigation,” Jasarevic stated. More than 20 US children in 10 states, among them New York, have been battered by the illness, with symptoms including fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, light-colored stools, and joint pains, and jaundice. [tweet_embed] May 8, 2022[/tweet_embed] Some of the patients have required liver transplants, and one child in Wisconsin had passed away. The health organization stated that patients varied from 1 month to 16 years old, and more common forms of liver disease — hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C — were ruled out. The illness is called hepatitis of unidentified origin. The cases have no known connection, although an association with adenovirus that can cause colds is being examined as a possible culprit. The UK is currently leading the world with 145 cases of rare hepatitis, followed by the US, Spain, and Israel. Nearly a dozen other European countries have documented probable hepatitis cases in the single digits. On Monday, Indonesia informed that three children, ages 2, 8, and 11, died in Jakarta in April after possibly contracting pediatric hepatitis, reported Bloomberg. [tweet_embed] May 8, 2022[/tweet_embed] Additional cases are being analyzed in Japan and Singapore, where a 10-month-old baby has been hospitalized with hepatitis symptoms. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent out an alert to physicians nationwide last month, urging them to test children with severe liver illness for the adenovirus. Minnesota, Georgia, and New York have reported they were looking at multiple cases of acute liver inflammation in children. Nine cases also emerged in Alabama, two in North Carolina, one each in Delaware and Louisiana, three in Illinois, four in Wisconsin, and six in Tennessee. The World Health Organization has documented at least 169 cases in 12 countries, including at least one death and 17 others needing a liver transplant. The majority of the cases are in the United Kingdom, per the April 23 release. [tweet_embed] May 8, 2022[/tweet_embed] "One potential important clue that has not been reported yet is the pathology of the liver [from patients in Europe]. The 17 liver transplant cases across several countries means that a detailed analysis of the microscopic histopathology of the liver in these cases is available," stated Dr. Daniel R. Lucey, clinical professor of medicine at Dartmouth Geisel Medical School and a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America Global Health Committee. Adenovirus was detected in 74 of these cases worldwide, but SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was identified in 20 cases, with the common viruses that usually cause acute viral hepatitis ruled out. "Right now, a lot is unknown," Bhatt conveyed.