Irish child being treated for an acute form of hepatitis has died

A child in Ireland who was being treated in hospital for an acute form of hepatitis has died.

The second child, also treated here for the disease, received a liver transplant in the UK, the HSE confirmed.

Both cases are related to an unexplained type of hepatitis that is being reported worldwide.

The UK first alerted other countries to the disease in April, and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control says the total number of cases reported worldwide is around 450.

In the last 10 weeks, six probable cases of childhood hepatitis of unknown origin have been identified in Ireland.

All of these children were hospitalized and ranged in age from one to 12 years.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver tissue and there are a number of different types of the disease including hepatitis A, B and C.

However, this acute form of hepatitis is of unknown origin, so recently all the possibilities of the cause of it in children are being studied.

Research is ongoing to determine if this is related to an increase in adenovirus infections, a common cause of childhood illnesses.

Research is also being carried out in Ireland and other countries to determine whether current or previous Covid-19 infection makes children more likely to develop hepatitis.

However, none of the Irish cases had evidence of the coronavirus at the time of hospitalisation.

The majority of cases had not received a Covid-19 vaccination.

The HSE said none of those identified cases were linked and there were no links between the Irish and UK cases as neither had recently traveled to the UK.

A spokesman for the HSE added: “Ireland is working closely with ECDC, UK and WHO colleagues to identify the cause of this disease.

“GPs and pediatric consultants are aware of the recent increase in hepatitis cases in children and will be vigilant to identify additional cases that may develop.”

Symptoms of hepatitis include pale, gray-colored stools, dark urine, and yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice).

Parents are advised to contact their GP if their child develops any of these symptoms.

Other symptoms include muscle and joint pain, high fever, unusual tiredness and loss of appetite. Irish child being treated for an acute form of hepatitis has died

Fry Electronics Team

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