Three children in Indonesia have died from a mysterious liver disease that has been reported in countries around the world.
The new and severe form of acute hepatitis has been identified in 170 children across 12 countries in recent weeks, raising concerns from the World Health Organization (WHO) about the unknown origin of the disease.
In Indonesia, the doctors association has called on medical professionals to increase alert for any symptoms of hepatitis in children after three children died of the mysterious illness last month.
The deaths were announced Monday by Indonesia’s Ministry of Health.
The WHO has said there has been an unexpected, significant increase in cases around the world, with the disease being identified among children in the United Kingdom, Spain, Israel, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Belgium.
Cases in Indonesia and Singapore have been the first recorded in Asia, with Japan reporting its first case on Monday.
Symptoms of the disease in children before signs of liver inflammation have included nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
General Chairperson of the Executive Board of the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI), M. Adib Khumaidi, said in a statement on Tuesday that all health workers serving at health facilities in the country need to be aware of any symptoms of hepatitis in children and adults.
“Since it was officially published as an outbreak by WHO, the number of case reports has continued to grow, with more than 170 cases reported by more than 12 countries,” Adib said.
The WHO and health authorities around the world are continuing to investigate the outbreak.