Since January, the UK Health and Safety Agency has registered 49 cases in England, 13 in Scotland and 12 in Wales and Northern Ireland
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The UK Health Security Agency is investigating 74 cases of hepatitis in children across the UK.
The health agency is investigating 49 cases in England, 13 in Scotland and 12 in Wales and Northern Ireland, all of which have emerged since January.
The UKHSA said it was investigating a “number” of possible causes of the cases.
One possible direction of investigation is whether or not a group of viruses called adenoviruses might be causing the disease.
Other possible explanations are also being explored, including whether or not Covid-19 may have played a role in the spate of cases.
However, officials stressed that there was “no link” to Covid-19 vaccinations as none of the affected children had received a Covid-19 vaccine.
dr Meera Chand, director of clinical and emerging infections at the UKHSA, urged parents to be on the lookout for signs of hepatitis as cases increase.
She said in a statement: “We are working quickly with the NHS and public health colleagues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to investigate a wide range of possible factors that may lead to children being hospitalized with a liver infection known as hepatitis to be delivered.
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“One of the possible causes we are investigating is that this is related to an adenovirus infection.
“However, we are thoroughly investigating other possible causes.
“Normal hygiene practices such as good handwashing, including child supervision, and respiratory hygiene help reduce the spread of many of the infections we have studied.
“We also urge parents and guardians to be vigilant for signs of hepatitis, including jaundice, and to contact a doctor if they have concerns.”
The UKHSA said adenoviruses are a family of common viruses that usually cause a range of mild illnesses – including colds, vomiting and diarrhea – and most people recover without complications.
Although they don’t usually cause hepatitis, it’s a known rare complication of the virus.
Adenoviruses are commonly transmitted from person to person and by touching contaminated surfaces, as well as via the “respiratory route”, the UKHSA said.
According to the NHS, hepatitis is the general term used to describe inflammation of the liver.
It is often seen in alcoholic patients with severe liver damage – but in children’s cases it will be the result of a viral infection.
Hepatitis is a collective term for different types of liver inflammation.
Some types pass, while others become chronic and can cause scarring of the liver — or cirrhosis.
Chronic inflammation can also lead to loss of liver function and liver cancer in some cases, according to the health service.
Acute hepatitis, which is short term in contrast to the longer periods of chronic illness, often has no noticeable symptoms.
But for the more severe cases, there are a number of key indicators parents can look out for.
The 10 most common hepatitis symptoms
- Dark urine
- Light gray droppings
- Itchy, irritated skin
- jaundice – yellowing of the eyes and skin
- muscle and joint pain
- High temperature
- Feeling sick or being sick
- Unusual tiredness
- loss of appetite
- stomach pain
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/parents-warned-alarming-hepatitis-spike-26696590 Parents warned of alarming spike in hepatitis among UK children, with 74 cases under investigation