Terrified parents have been told to keep an eye out for signs of deadly hepatitis in their children after a dozen were confirmed dead in an unexplained outbreak.
Hundreds of kids have now been infected as the liver disease continues to strike children across the world — with doctors still baffled as to what might be behind the uptick in cases.
Officials in Europe report that 11 children have sadly passed away from hepatitis, with another casualty recorded in Ireland last week.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) meanwhile revealed infections had been reported in 20 countries, with 70 potential cases under investigation in a further 13 territories.
Experts from the UK Health Security Agency say that infections have increased since children began mixing again after pandemic restrictions were lifted, commenting: "Almost all of the cases have been seen in children under 10, with most cases aged between three and five years.
"Most of the children affected were previously healthy and only a very small number of cases are linked to another case of hepatitis.
"This means that even if there has been a case in your family or friends, or if a case has occurred at your child’s nursery or school, your child is still at low risk of developing hepatitis"
Medical researchers from around the world now suggest undetected virus with a link to Covid-19 could be to blame.
A report sent to health science database medRxiv says that while children with Covid are at "significantly increased risk" for inflammation of the liver.
For the latest breaking news and stories from across the globe from the Daily Star, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.
While the boffins did not find evidence of a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, they did find traces of an adenovirus called 41F, which is not usually known to attack the liver.
A separate team of researchers propose in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology that mild or asymptomatic Covid infections that went unnoticed could be causing the body to "overreact" to a later case of adenovirus, resulting in damage to the liver.
Official advice from the NHS says parents should see a GP if a child has symptoms of hepatitis, which include yellowing of the eyes and skin.
Positive reinforcement of hygiene including supervised hand washing can help to prevent infections.
Source: Read Full Article