All children up to 16 years with symptoms suggestive of acute hepatitis, such as nausea, vomiting, or jaundice, or with nonspecific symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhoea should attend hospital urgently, according to advice issued by the Directorate General for Health (DGS).

The advice comes in response to a number of suspected cases of hepatitis of an unknown cause in children and adolescents in numerous countries worldwide. Non-specific symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea lasting more than one week, and significant weakness may be present alongside respiratory symptoms and fever.

Information regarding the symptoms is limited, but a form of adenovirus is suspected as of right now. The DGS recommends typical protective measures, such as hand-washing, coughing/sneezing into one’s elbow, ventilating indoor spaces, and disinfecting surfaces.

According to the DGS, the 15 suspected cases reported in Portugal up to June 3rd, 2022, which appeared in in children aged between four months and 16 years, occurred between November 2021 and May 31st, 2022. The health of these children has evolved favourably.

The other countries in Europe reporting cases by the end of May were the United Kingdom (155), Spain (34), Italy (29), Netherlands (14), Belgium (14), Sweden (9), Ireland (8), Denmark (7), Greece (5), Norway (5), Poland (3), Cyprus (2), France (2), Austria (2), Bulgaria (1), Republic of Moldova (1), Serbia (1).

The total number of cases reported worldwide was 621, including 14 deaths reported. These deaths were in Indonesia (6), United States (5), Ireland (1), Mexico (1) and Palestine (1).