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Be alert for hepatitis symptoms as cases detected in children

Know the signs to look out for as health bodies investigate the potential causes of cases, including any possible links to infectious diseases

Know the signs to look out for as health bodies investigate the potential causes of cases, including any possible links to infectious diseases

Nurses and other healthcare staff are urged to be on alert for patients with hepatitis symptoms after a small number of cases were detected in children.

Around 60 cases of the inflammatory liver condition have been found in children aged under 10 in England, and 11 cases in Scotland led to those children being sent to hospital for treatment.

Health bodies aim to ‘build a better picture of what may be causing the hepatitis cases’

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is working with the NHS

Know the signs to look out for as health bodies investigate the potential causes of cases, including any possible links to infectious diseases

High temperature could be a symptom of hepatitis in children. Picture: iStock

Nurses and other healthcare staff are urged to be on alert for patients with hepatitis symptoms after a small number of cases were detected in children.

Around 60 cases of the inflammatory liver condition have been found in children aged under 10 in England, and 11 cases in Scotland led to those children being sent to hospital for treatment.

Health bodies aim to ‘build a better picture of what may be causing the hepatitis cases’

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is working with the NHS and public health authorities to identify the potential causes of the infections.

UKHSA director of clinical and emerging infections Dr Meera Chand said: ‘Investigations are underway, including any possible links to infectious diseases.

‘We are working with partners to raise awareness among healthcare professionals, so that any further children who may be affected can be identified early and the appropriate tests carried out. This will also help us to build a better picture of what may be causing the cases.’

There are several viral infections common in children that can cause hepatitis. However, in the cases under investigation the common viruses that cause hepatitis have not been detected, the UKHSA said.

Connection between hepatitis cases unclear in Scotland

In Scotland health bosses said the number of cases in such a short period of time, combined with the geographical spread and severity of illness, was ‘unusual’.

There are no clear causes for the cases, which have been detected in Lanarkshire, Tayside, Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Fife.

Public Health Scotland said there was no clear connection between the cases.

Hepatitis symptoms to look out for

  • Dark urine
  • Pale, grey-coloured poo
  • Itchy skin
  • Jaundice
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • High temperature
  • Feeling and being sick
  • Feeling unusually tired all the time
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tummy pain

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