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The ongoing investigations into clusters of children affected by severe acute hepatitis of unknown aetiology have put our global capacity for a coordinated, effective response to the test. The global health community have rapidly convened to share data and inform the response. In the UK, where most cases were initially identified, a coordinated public health and clinical research response was rapidly initiated. Since then, cases have been reported from other countries, predominantly from higher-income countries. While agencies are keeping an open mind to the cause, the working hypothesis and case notifications raise important questions about our capacity to detect emerging cases in lower-resourced settings with a recognised lack of access to diagnostics even for commonly circulating viruses such as hepatitis A. The limited capability to generate integrated global pathogen surveillance data is a challenge for the outbreak investigations, highlighting an urgent need to strengthen access to diagnostics, with a focus on lower-resourced settings, to improve the capacity to detect emerging diseases to inform care and to improve outcomes and outbreak control.

Original publication

DOI

10.1186/s12916-022-02471-5

Type

Journal

BMC medicine

Publication Date

29/07/2022

Volume

20

Addresses

GloPID-R, Pandemic Sciences Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Keywords

Humans, Hepatitis, Acute Disease, Public Health, Disease Outbreaks, Child, Global Health