According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA, there is a higher than usual rates of hepatitis in children since January 2022. Out of the 74 cases being investigated, there were 49 confirmed cases in England, 13 in Scotland and the remainder confirmed cases were in Wales and Northern Ireland.
Dr Meera Chand, the director of clinical and emerging infections at the UK Health Security Agency, said officials were working across the four nations to “investigate a wide range of possible factors which may be causing children to be admitted to hospital with liver inflammation known as hepatitis”.
Although there is still no final conclusion to this but one of the potential caused under investigation is that a group of adenoviruses may be causing the illnesses in children.
Adenoviruses are a family of common viruses that usually cause a range of mild illnesses and most people recover without complications. They are usually commonly transmitted from person to person and by touching contaminated surfaces and can cause a range of symptoms, including colds, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Dr Chand said: “Normal hygiene measures such as good handwashing, including supervising children, and respiratory hygiene, help to reduce the spread of many of the infections that we are investigating.
“We are also calling on parents and guardians to be alert to the signs of hepatitis, including jaundice, and to contact a healthcare professional if they are concerned.”
Additional cases have also been discovered in Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands according to a statement made by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control on Tuesday.