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Children's health

15th May 2022

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

Kat O'Connor

Parents should be aware of hepatitis symptoms.

The HSE has issued advice to parents about the unknown strain of hepatitis infecting children.

Parents are understandably concerned about the strain after a child died in Ireland.

6 cases have been identified in Ireland so far.

Speaking to HerFamily, a HSE official shared the symptoms we should all look out for.

Parents are advised to go to their GP if their child develops symptoms of hepatitis. Symptoms can include pale, grey-coloured poo, dark urine, and jaundice.

“If their 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.”

They should also look out for symptoms like muscle and joint pain, a high temperature, feeling and being sick, feeling unusually tired all the time, and tummy pain.

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

“If your child is unwell with respiratory or diarrheal or hepatitis symptoms keep your child at home.

“Do not send them to crèche/preschool/school until they are better.”

“Good respiratory and hand hygiene, including supervising hand washing in young children, can help to prevent adenovirus and other infections that can cause hepatitis.”

“One child has received a liver transplant and sadly one child has passed away.”

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

“One child has received a liver transplant and sadly one child has passed away.”

The strain could be linked to adenovirus, but this is still under investigation.

The Irish cases have no links to the UK cases, and none had a recent travel history to the UK before the onset of symptoms.

Hepatitis viruses A, B, C, and E were also ruled out.

GPs and pediatric consultants are aware of the recent increase in cases amongst children and will be alert to identify any further cases that may develop.

Parents should seek immediate medical help if they suspect their child has hepatitis.

Read more: Child dies from unknown strain of hepatitis in Ireland