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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Island’s first known case of acute pediatric hepatitis, a 2-year-old girl, dies

At the time of her death, the two-year-old was waiting for a new donor after her body rejected an initial liver transplant.

By The Star Staff

A two-year-old girl identified as the first case of acute pediatric hepatitis in Puerto Rico died over the weekend at Auxilio Mutuo Hospital.

The girl was identified by the Health Department on Monday as Amaia Márquez Sánchez. She had received a liver transplant on May 4, but her body rejected it after several days. At the time of her death, she was waiting for a new donor.

Cases of this type of liver inflammation, which is on the rise, have been reported in more than 25 countries, though the majority are in the United Kingdom, which has recorded around 160 and the United States, which has recorded 110, NBC News reported.

Most of the affected children are under age 5. Of the U.S. patients, more than 90 percent have been hospitalized and 14 percent have had liver transplants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating five pediatric deaths that might be related.

Worldwide, the number of mysterious hepatitis cases under investigation among children has reached 450, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control has said.

That number is higher than the World Health Organization’s latest count, NBC News said.

On April 21, the CDC issued an alert asking all physicians to be on the lookout for symptoms and to report any suspected cases of hepatitis of unknown origin to their local and state health departments.

The CDC at the time said it was also aware of an increase in cases of pediatric hepatitis without a known cause.

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