Netherlands sees 4 cases of unexplained juvenile hepatitis

Four young patients in the Netherlands have been registered with cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin, and three underwent liver transplants in Groningen, reports. Twelve other countries have also reported cases, and at least one child has died from the liver infection, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Children and adolescents up to age 16 have been diagnosed with the infection recently, which health authorities have concluded is not caused by one of the currently-known viruses. Cases were first discovered earlier this month, according to 

At present, 169 cases have been reported, with the most in the United Kingdom. Alongside the Netherlands, cases have also been found in the U.S., Spain, Israel, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, France, Romania and Belgium.

In 17 situations, doctors have ordered a liver transplant. The youngest patient to be diagnosed was a baby who was only a month old, according to

The WHO said in a statement that it was not clear whether the number showed an actual increase in hepatitis cases, or simply an increase in awareness.

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