Hepatitis cases in children in the UK are on the rise amid global outbreak

April 29 (Reuters) – The UK’s Health Security Agency has identified 34 confirmed cases of hepatitis in children since Monday, bringing the total to 145 on the back of a wave of unexplained cases among children worldwide.

The agency said 10 children underwent liver transplants and none of them died.

The findings suggest that a sudden increase in cases in children may be linked to a common cold virus known as Adenovirus, the agency said, adding that the agency is also investigating other potential infections, including COVID-19 or an environmental cause.

The rise in infections comes after the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control reported about 190 unexplained cases of acute hepatitis in children worldwide.

The outbreak was first reported this month in the UK, mainly in children under the age of 10, and has since been identified in at least 12 countries around the world.

According to the World Health Organization, 17 children required liver transplants as a result of the recent cases, and one died.

Symptoms of hepatitis include dark urine, yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice), fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, light-colored stools, and joint pain.

There is no specific cure for hepatitis, but medications can help reduce inflammation and other symptoms. (Reporting by Sabahan Contractor in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese and Nick McPhee)

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