The mysterious hepatitis outbreak affecting children across the world appears to be caused by two simultaneous viral infections to which children are more susceptible because lockdowns left them with weakened immune systems. MailOnline has more.
Scientists today pinpointed a usually-harmless virus as being the main culprit for the unusual liver illness, which has sickened 200 youngsters in the U.K. and left a dozen needing transplants.
But AAV2 cannot replicate without a ‘helper’ pathogen, such as an adenovirus – which usually just causes cold-like symptoms. Adenoviruses surged in line with the hepatitis cluster, which experts believe is because children had weaker immunity upon their return to pre-pandemic levels of mixing.
Therefore, a U.K. Health Security Agency-backed team of academics believe dual infection with these two viruses may offer the best explanation for the outbreak.
Until now, scientists have been flummoxed as to the root cause of the illness, with theories blaming Covid itself or even a mutation in an adenovirus strain.
Overall, the two studies, which looked at dozens of children across the U.K., found that 96% of children with unexplained hepatitis had “high levels” of AAV2. For comparison, just 4% of healthy youngsters tested positive for AAV2 and at much lower levels.
Dr. Antonia Ho, lead author for one of the studies, said Covid lockdowns and restrictions led to “much reduced circulation of seasonal viruses”. An “equilibrium” needs to be re-established now that youngsters are mixing in pre-pandemic ways, which has led to “different types of circulation” of viruses, she said…
In a separate analysis, the researchers examined the genetics of the patients with hepatitis. They detected that nearly nine in 10 youngsters with hepatitis (89%) had [an uncommon variant of] the Human Leukocyte Antigen gene, compared to less than two in 10 (16%) in the general population. This finding may offer another part of the answer as to why some children have become seriously unwell, the team said.
Yet more innocent victims of the unnecessary and ineffective lockdowns.
Worth reading in full.