Kids Hepatitis Outbreak: 25 New UK Cases; ~650 Total Infections Worldwide

    Photo: Reuters [via Wall Street Journal]

    The Facts

    • The mysterious children's hepatitis outbreak continues to spread worldwide, with another 25 cases identified in the UK, bringing that country's total to 222.

    • On Fri., the WHO reported 650 probable global cases across 33 countries, with 99 additional cases pending classification. There have been at least nine fatalities associated with the outbreak.

    The Spin

    Right narrative

    We can thank COVID lockdowns for possibly playing a role in this new public health crisis. The endless cycle of lockdowns may have weakened children's immunity and left them at risk of the adenovirus. Enforced social isolation has consequences.

    Left narrative

    There are a lot of question marks here and we can't jump to conclusions. The adenovirus hasn't been confirmed as the smoking gun and, while COVID is unlikely the sole culprit, the fact that some kids with hepatitis were also COVID positive is a dangerous development that needs further study.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 54% chance that pediatric cases of hepatitis with unknown origins will be linked to an adenovirus infection by 2022, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Political split



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