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A possible link with domestic dogs is being investigated on hepatitis affecting children

AGI – The hypotheses about the causes of mysterious hepatitis in children are increasing. Now the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) is investigating the possible link to domestic dogs. It appears that a large number of children affected by the disease in the UK have a dog or have been exposed to the animal’s presence. “The significance of this discovery is under study,” UKHSA points out. The experts did not explain how this link is possible, but only analyzed the responses that the affected families gave to a questionnaire.

Well, 70 percent – precisely 64 out of 92 respondents – owned a dog or had been exposed to a dog. “There is, however, the possibility that this is just a coincidental association as companion dogs are common in the UK,” but the investigation continues nonetheless. However, the most probable hypothesis remains that of an adenovirus.

Two strains of adenovirus are known to infect dogs, including one that causes hepatitis. The other is one of the pathogens that triggers “canine cough”. Seventy-five per cent of the 163 children with hepatitis in the UK tested positive for adenoviruses. But according to UKHSA, the cases linked to adenovirus could be more.

Meanwhile, the cases are increasing. Almost 300 cases have been detected in the world. One death has been linked to this outbreak and 4 others are under investigation. Most of the cases have been detected in the UK (163) and the US (27), which have some of the most powerful surveillance systems. But the disease has also been identified in Italy with 9 confirmed cases and many others under investigation. In Spain it is 22, in Israel 12 and in Denmark 6.

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