Experts investigating unknown hepatitis strain rule out link to dogs
Doctors investigating an unknown strain of hepatitis have ruled out a link to dogs.
Speaking about the investigation's progress, Dr. Calum Semple said they're still trying to figure out what is causing this strain.
However, he stressed that owning dogs or contact with dogs was not causing acute hepatitis.
This update comes after the team found a link between dog-owning families and the outbreak.
Last week, the UKHSA said 64 of 92 cases owned dogs or were exposed to dogs.
However, this is just coincidental.
Health experts are continuing their investigations, but have reassured parents that the risk of infection is low.
Doctors suspect the adenovirus may be behind the mystery strain, but investigations are ongoing.
Health officials in the United Kingdom are currently seeing a downfall in cases. They believe the virus has peaked.
Dr. Tassos Grammatikopoulos of King’s College Hospital NHS Trust said: "Although we do still get some cases being identified in the UK, we seem to be on a downward trend”.
Scientists have vowed to find out what is causing the outbreak.
However, it could be months before they have a definite answer.
Luckily, Dr. Calum Semple told a press conference that cases will likely decline as the summer nears.
Dr. Meera Chand of the UKHSA stressed that developing hepatitis is low.
"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."
The HSE has also told parents that cases are rare, but children can get very ill.
Yesterday, the HSE confirmed a further 7 cases were under investigation.
This is in addition to 6 other cases in Ireland.