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Children's health

09th Jun 2022

Warning to parents after increase in cases of unknown hepatitis strain

Kat O'Connor

Two children needed liver transplants.

Parents have been told to be aware of the symptoms of the unknown hepatitis strain.

Experts across the globe are still trying to understand what is causing the outbreak.

There are now 13 confirmed cases in Ireland.

Another case was confirmed this week.

Since March, one child sadly passed away.

Another two children underwent liver transplants after contracting the disease.

All children infected were aged between 1 and 12.

All 13 patients were treated in hospital.

The main symptoms include jaundice, dark urine, and pale/dark-coloured poo.

A HSE official told HerFamily:

“If your child has any of these 3 symptoms, they should contact their GP without delay.

“The GP will assess the child and refer on for further assessment as indicated.”

Parents should also look out for symptoms like muscle and joint pain, and a high temperature.

Children could also experience vomiting and tummy pain.

Other symptoms include itchy skin and loss of appetite.

Some patients may also have a general sense of feeling unwell, loss of appetite, and itchy skin.

However, they reassured parents that the risk of contracting the rare strain is low.

Experts are investigating the mysterious strain as cases rise globally.

The HPSC stated, “A small number of children are under investigation.”

“The children affected have no links to the other children involved.

“Investigations are currently ongoing to identify the cause of these illnesses.”

Read more: Here’s what you need to know about the unknown strain of hepatitis