Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Investigators continue to examine cause of sudden onset hepatitis in children

Adenovirus is the most often detected virus in the samples that have been tested (Peter Byrne/PA)
Adenovirus is the most often detected virus in the samples that have been tested (Peter Byrne/PA)

Investigators are continuing to try and work out why more than 160 children in the UK have been hit by sudden onset hepatitis.

An update from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) on Friday shows an extra 18 cases recorded as of May 3 (compared to April 29), bringing the UK total to 163.

None of the children have died.

Health officials are still investigating the cause of the increase in the severe liver condition but a common virus called adenovirus may be causing the surge following the pandemic, according to the UKHSA.

Adenovirus is the most often detected virus in the samples that have been tested.

However, as it is not common to see hepatitis following adenovirus infection in previously well children, investigations are continuing into other factors which may be contributing, the UKHSA said.

These include previous Covid infection or a change in the adenovirus genome itself.

A review of questionnaires with families has found “relatively high numbers of dog-owning families or other dog exposures”, with 64 out of 92 cases where data was available talking about dog exposure.

“The significance of this finding is being explored,” the UKHSA said but added that “pet dog ownership is common in the UK”.

The UKHSA said the most common symptoms in children in the UK are jaundice and vomiting, and the vast majority of cases are in those aged under five.

Dr Meera Chand, director of clinical and emerging infections at UKHSA, said: “It’s important that parents know the likelihood of their child developing hepatitis is extremely low.

“However, we continue to remind everyone to be alert to the signs of hepatitis – particularly jaundice, look for a yellow tinge in the whites of the eyes – and contact your doctor if you are concerned.

“Our investigations continue to suggest that there is an association with adenovirus and our studies are now testing this association rigorously.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said earlier this week there were almost 300 probable cases of children with severe hepatitis detected in 20 countries worldwide.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]