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Spain has reported its first two deaths from acute hepatitis in children, inflammation of the liver. The disease is of unknown cause and is monitored by global health authorities.
Spain’s health ministry said 46 cases of the disease had been reported in Spain, with three requiring liver transplants.
Two of the three transplant patients died. In June his 15 month old baby died and in July his 6 year old baby died.
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In a statement on Thursday, the ministry said 21 European countries had reported 507 cases as of July 28, with 273 of them in the UK.
At least 180 cases and 6 deaths have been reported in the United States.
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Health officials remain baffled as to the cause of hepatitis, and the best available evidence points to stomach bugs not known to cause liver problems in otherwise healthy children.
Spain says it began monitoring the situation closely after Britain alerted the World Health Organization following a surge in cases.
The ministry said it has so far not noticed an increase in the number of cases of this type of hepatitis compared to estimates made with data from past years.