Hepatitis of unknown cause “is a disease of concern but is considered rare”

Health authorities are monitoring the evolution of cases of acute hepatitis in children. In Portugal, there are 8 suspected cases. Rui Tato Marinho, coordinator of the National Commission for Viral Hepatitis, stresses that the disease is worrying but is considered rare.

“It is a hepatitis of unknown cause, but we have some certainties: it affects children with an average age of 3 years, it is an acute inflammation of the liver (…) , in Portugal we do not have any serious evolution – and it is known that it is a rare disease”, explains the specialist.

The origin of the disease is still unknown and there is no certainty that it is contagious.

“This is like a police investigation: we know there is a criminal – who causes acute hepatitis in children – and we are trying to follow several leads until we know for sure what it is”, he says.

The Directorate-General for Health is monitoring the evolution of the disease on a daily basis. The authorities stress that there is no reason to be alarmed, just be alert.