Jump in number of children suffering from rare strain of hepatitis in Ireland 1 month ago

Jump in number of children suffering from rare strain of hepatitis in Ireland

25 children in Ireland have contracted the illness.

There has been a rise in the number of children contracting a rare strain of hepatitis in Ireland. Doctors have confirmed that 13 additional cases of acute hepatitis have been diagnosed since June.

This brings the total number of cases to 25.

The HPSC says the case numbers are higher than expected, especially for this time of year.

In a statement this morning, the HPSC said:

"Investigations are currently ongoing to identify the cause of these illnesses,” the HSPC stated.

"All probable cases are in children between the ages of 0 and 12 years of age.

24 of the 25 cases were hospitalised.

"Two children have received a liver transplant and there has been one death associated with this disease.”

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Earlier this month, doctors in the UK believed they found the cause behind the rare strain of hepatitis.

Researchers in both London and Glasgow believe infants missed out on normal immunity due to the Covid-19 lockdowns.

They later contracted both adenovirus and adeno-associated virus two. Adenovirus typically causes stomach aches and colds.

Adeno-associated virus two doesn't typically cause a disease, but it can when combined with another virus.

The combination of the two viruses is likely causing liver complications, experts revealed this week.

Speaking about the results, Professor Judith Breuer, an expert in virology told the BBC:

"Children were not building up immunity to the common infections they would normally encounter."

Earlier this year, a HSE official told HerFamily about the symptoms we should all look out for.

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."