Possible cases of 'unusual' childhood hepatitis in Canada in 'single digits': Henry

·1 min read

VICTORIA — British Columbia's provincial health officer says all 17 pediatric hospitals across the country are looking out for an "unusual" childhood liver disease but the number of possible cases remains in the single digits.

Dr. Bonnie Henry says none of the possible cases of severe acute hepatitis, or liver inflammation, are in British Columbia, but it isn't her place to identify where they are or exactly how many.

Henry says health officials are developing common case report forms and testing algorithms to be used across the country.

On Wednesday, the Public Health Agency of Canada said it was looking into reports of liver inflammation among young children in Canada and investigating any links with the United Kingdom and the United States.

British health officials have said they are investigating what's behind a spike there, with at least 169 cases of "acute hepatitis of unknown origin" and one death, noting there is increasing evidence the cases could be linked to a common virus.

U.S. authorities said this month that they were investigating a cluster of otherwise unexplained hepatitis cases diagnosed in nine Alabama children who also tested positive for adenovirus.

"We'll be watching this very carefully," Henry says.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 28, 2022.

The Canadian Press

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting