Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Acute hepatitis of unknown origin in children

Recent hepatitis outbreak in children may have a foodborne toxin as its cause

BMJ 2022; 377 doi: (Published 21 June 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;377:o1518
  1. Roland Salmon, former director1,
  2. Stephen Palmer, emeritus professor of public health2
  1. 1Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, Public Health Wales
  2. 2Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  1. rolandsalmon{at}

The experience of the covid-19 pandemic will inevitably prompt investigators to propose viral causes for the extensive and severe international outbreak of hepatitis in children. As Cevik and colleagues point out,1 however, there are problems with the hypothesis of adenovirus infection as the cause. Only 91 out of 126 (72%) of UK children tested were positive for the virus and …

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