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Scientist Pokrovsky: outbreak of hepatitis of unknown etiology in Europe could be caused by a new virus

The head of the scientific center for the prevention and control of AIDS of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor, Vadim Pokrovsky, said that an outbreak of hepatitis of unknown etiology in children in a number of European countries could be provoked by a new virus. He put forward the theory of the viral nature of hepatitis in an interview with TASS.

According to him, scientists are looking for a previously unknown virus or a new variant of a previously known virus. Pokrovsky considers the version of the occurrence of autoimmune hepatitis unlikely, since an acute course is uncharacteristic for this group of diseases.

The scientist added that the picture of the spread of the disease, which is currently observed, is quite specific, if we are not talking about the coincidence of several risk factors. He explained that toxic hepatitis is possible, but it is unlikely that it has developed in children from different cities because of the common poisonous substance.

At present, communication between patients should be established, the specialist added. To do this, researchers should continue to collect data, as well as examine adults in whom infection with an unknown virus may occur in an erased form.

Earlier it was reported that doctors in Europe and the United States recorded an outbreak of a virus that affects the liver of children and causes them severe hepatitis. Scientists suggest that the infection may be related to the coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 20 countries of the world, 228 children have already become ill with a severe form of hepatitis due to the virus, one of whom has died. In January, British doctors reported the first cases of infection. By the end of April, 145 sick children were identified in the country.