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Hepatitis in children mystery still being investigated as cases rise

UK health officials say they are still no clearer on the cause of a rise in liver inflammation, or hepatitis, in children.

A common adenovirus is thought to play a role, but other possibilities are still being investigated.

In the UK, 163 cases have now been identified, and 11 children have received liver transplants.

Cases have been detected in 20 countries worldwide, with nearly 300 children affected, and one death.

"It's important that parents know the likelihood of their child developing hepatitis is extremely low," said Dr Meera Chand, from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

She said parents should still be alert to the signs - particularly jaundice, a yellow tinge in the whites of the eyes - and they should contact a doctor if concerned.

Since last week, another 18 children in the UK with hepatitis have been identified - 118 live in England, 22 in Scotland, 13 in Wales and 10 in Northern Ireland.

The children's most common symptoms were jaundice and vomiting - and most have been under five years old.

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Source: BBC News, 7 May 2022


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