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Covid is not to blame for mysterious hepatitis outbreak in children, experts claim

Covid should not be blamed for the mysterious hepatitis outbreak affecting children around the world, experts have insisted.

Claims that the pandemic virus is responsible for the unusual disease have been shredded.

An Israeli survey last week led some to label the condition, which has affected about 650 children worldwide since January, as “covid long liver.”

It claimed that five cases in the Middle Eastern country in children were likely caused by a delayed response to contracting the virus earlier in the pandemic.

Experts accused of fomenting fear during the pandemic jumped on the academic paper, accusing health authorities of covering up the long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 on children.

But now infectious disease experts have dismissed the study’s findings, based on just five children.

dr. Jake Dunning, of the University of Oxford, tweeted: ‘Whatever the cause of unexplained hepatitis in children, this small uncontrolled study doesn’t answer the cause.’

He added: “You can’t just point to Covid as a cause just because it supports broader agendas and campaigns.”

And Dr Dunning said hepatitis was only branded as long Covid liver by scientists who “really should know better.”

dr.  Alasdair Munro, a pediatrician at the University of Southampton, says an Israeli study that labeled the mysterious outbreak of hepatitis in children long Covid liver last week

dr.  Jake Dunning, an infectious disease expert at Oxford University, criticized 'some scientists' for trying to 'let Covid be the cause' of mysterious childhood hepatitis outbreak

Covid shouldn’t be blamed for the mysterious childhood hepatitis outbreak, experts have insisted after an Israeli study last week called the inflammatory liver disease “long Covid liver.” dr. Jake Dunning (right), an infectious disease expert at Oxford University, criticized “some scientists” for trying to “make Covid the cause.” dr. Alasdair Munro (left), a pediatrician at the University of Southampton, says the article provides ‘almost no useful information about the current cluster [of hepatitis] in research’

The mysterious hepatitis has been spotted in the US, Western Europe and a handful of other countries.  At least 12 young people worldwide have died and have required dozens of liver transplants

The mysterious hepatitis has been spotted in the US, Western Europe and a handful of other countries. At least 12 young people worldwide have died and have required dozens of liver transplants

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What Did the Covid Long Liver Study Claim About the Cause of Hepatitis?

An Israeli survey last week led some to label the condition, which has affected about 650 children worldwide since January, as “covid long liver.”

It claimed that five cases in the Middle Eastern country in children were likely caused by a delayed response to contracting the virus earlier in the pandemic.

The study, published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutritionfollowed the medical histories of five children with hepatitis to determine a cause of the condition.

Children aged three months to 13 years who had had hepatitis since the beginning of the year were looked at in Tel Aviv.

All five were infected with Covid between 21 days and four months before the onset of hepatitis.

Two children aged three and five months had to undergo a liver transplant due to acute liver failure. All children survived.

The authors suggested that the paper proves that Covid can cause hepatitis later on.

In the paper, the authors wrote: ‘We report two different patterns of potentially long Covid-19 liver manifestations in children.’

Although rare, hepatitis is a known cause of liver failure in children every year.

The sheer number of cases and the fact that experts have not yet identified a clear cause for the current cluster of cases is what has raised the alarm.

Some 240 cases have been reported in the UK since January with no deaths.

The US has seen 274 cases, with six children dying from the disease.

Scientists still don’t know what causes the life-threatening liver disease, which has forced dozens of children to undergo liver transplants, including 10 in Britain.

But the main culprit is believed to be the adenovirus, which usually only causes cold symptoms or diarrhea.

A leading theory is that it causes an unusually serious illness in children because their immune systems have been weakened as a result of lockdowns and school closures during the pandemic.

However, health leaders are still investigating whether a mutated strain of adenovirus is to blame.

The Israeli study, in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutritionfollowed five children with hepatitis to determine a cause of the condition.

Children were between three months and 13 years old.

All five – who fell this year – had contracted Covid up to four months before the onset of hepatitis.

Two children aged three and five months had to undergo a liver transplant due to acute liver failure. However, all children survived.

The authors suggested the paper shows that Covid may later cause hepatitis, a theory spread by some groups in the scientific community who have been critical of treating the virus as the flu.

In the paper, the authors wrote: ‘We report two different patterns of potentially long Covid-19 liver manifestations in children.’

But dr. Alasdair Munro, a pediatrician at the University of Southampton, said the paper “falls at the first hurdle” because it doesn’t say why the specific children were chosen.

Writing in his bloghe said: ‘This new study provides almost no useful information regarding the current cluster’ [of hepatitis] in research.

‘A series of five patients, some of whom had hepatitis more than three months after their first infection, do not establish a causal relationship.

“This case series does not resemble the cluster being studied in the UK and does not provide any evidence that the current excess of acute severe hepatitis is due to Covid.”

He also said hepatitis can be caused by a viral infection, meaning it is possible that Covid is causing the complication in some children.

Graph shows: Number of unexplained hepatitis cases detected weekly in children in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland up to May 16

Graph shows: Number of unexplained hepatitis cases detected weekly in children in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland up to May 16

Adenovirus has been found in most cases of worldwide childhood hepatitis.  Chart showing: Virus detection in UK cases of childhood hepatitis through mid-May

Adenovirus has been found in most cases of worldwide childhood hepatitis. Chart showing: Virus detection in UK cases of childhood hepatitis through mid-May

Scientists at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claimed yesterday that there has been no increase in hospitalizations or liver transplants due to hepatitis in children this winter.

They said this suggested no more cases of hepatitis in children have been recorded now than before Covid hit the country.

Independent scientists said the results suggested a previous Covid infection may not be behind the disease, as hepatitis levels were the same as pre-pandemic.

But some experts continued to insist that Covid was the problem, accusing the CDC of not investigating the virus as the cause.

dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist at the New England Complex Systems Institute think tank who has been criticized for Covid alarmism, suggested the Israeli study showed a link to the virus.

On Twitter, he wrote: “It’s pretty certain that the CDC was wrong in this.

†[The] Tel Aviv University study points to Covid as [the] cause of recent unexplained acute liver failure in children.

“CDC had previously blamed the adenovirus without testing the liver for SARS-CoV-2.”

dr. Lisa Iannattone, a dermatologist at the University of Montreal, said anyone who denies Covid is the sole cause of the hepatitis outbreak’is not someone to be taken seriously’.

She tweeted: “I don’t care what ‘very serious institution’ they work for. This is absurd. It’s Covid.’

Most cases have been seen in children aged three to five who initially developed diarrhea and nausea before later developing jaundice – the yellowing of the skin or eyes.

Other symptoms may include vomiting, gray-colored stools, stomach pain, fatigue, fever, and difficulty breathing.

The UKHSA has ruled out Covid vaccines as a possible cause, as the vast majority of affected children are too young to have been stung.

Q&A: What Is The Mysterious Global Hepatitis Outbreak And What’s Behind It?

What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver usually caused by a viral infection or liver damage from drinking alcohol.

Some cases resolve on their own with no lingering problems, but a fraction can be fatal, forcing patients to need liver transplants to survive.

What are the symptoms?

People with hepatitis generally have fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, light-colored stools, and joint pain.

They can also suffer from jaundice – when the skin and whites of the eyes turn yellow.

Why are experts concerned?

Hepatitis is usually rare in children, but experts have already noticed more cases in the current outbreak than they would normally expect within a year.

Cases are of “unknown origin” and are also serious, according to the World Health Organization.

What are the main theories?

Weakened Immunity

UK experts tasked with investigating the wave of diseases believe the endless cycle of lockdowns may have played a role.

Restrictions may have weakened children’s immunity due to reduced social mixing, putting them at increased risk for adenovirus.

This means that even ‘normal’ adenovirus can have the serious consequences, as children don’t react to it like they did in the past.

Adenovirus mutation

Other scientists said it may have been the adenovirus that acquired “unusual mutations.”

This would mean it could be more transmissible or better able to evade children’s natural immunity.

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