Alberta reports two possible cases of mystery liver disease in patients younger than 16 years

Alberta’s chief health doctor says children in the state have two possible cases of severe acute hepatitis of unknown cause.

Dr. Dina Hinsho says both children are under the age of 16.

She states that one of the patients has been treated, discharged and is on track.

Hinsho says the other patients are hospitalized.

She says she cannot provide any further details due to patient confidentiality.

A hospital for sick children in Toronto said on Tuesday that it identified seven possible cases of liver disease.

The hospital, also known as Sick Kids, said a mysterious case was identified between October 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022 and reported to the Ontario Department of Public Health.

SickKids is not yet sure if that number is an increase in unexplained cases compared to a similar period in the previous year, or if it is confirmed that any case has a new cause. Stated.

Manitoba also said that possible cases have been reported in the state in recent weeks.

Late last week, Alberta shared information with clinicians about what to look for and how to report unexplained severe acute hepatitis to children, according to Hinsho.

She said the state is working closely with federal, state and territory officials to monitor new information.

“We have also worked to align our reporting standards with the definitions of other states and territories, in this case the current World Health Organization and the Public Health Agency of Canada,” she said at a press conference.

“This will allow us to consistently report case information to the federal government and contribute to global efforts to gain a deeper understanding of this condition.”

Hinsho said the definition of possible cases is broad, as children with unexplained severe liver inflammation are counted.

“This report does not necessarily mean that the risk to the community is high, and I would like to make it clear to parents that if the child is ill, other measures need to be taken.”

The World Health Organization said last week that there were reports of about 300 possible cases in 20 countries. More than 100 possible cases, including 5 deaths, have emerged among children in the United States.

Dr. Theresa Tam, director of public health in Canada, said this week that even before the pandemic, about half of severe childhood hepatitis cases have no known cause.

She said federal health officials are still investigating whether any of these cases are related in any way.

Daniela Germano

Canadian press