Investigation after 11 children hospitalised with hepatitis in central Scotland

A probe has been launched after a small number of hepatitis cases were detected in young children across Scotland’s central belt, Public Health Scotland has said.

It is understood 11 cases of the inflammatory liver condition have resulted in the hospitalisation of children between one and five years old.

Public Health Scotland (PHS) has said the number of cases in such a short period of time, combined with the geographical spread and severity of illness, is “unusual” and requires further investigation.

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There are currently no clear causes for the cases which have been detected in Lanarkshire, Tayside, Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Fife.

It is understood 11 children have been treated in hospital

Most of these cases have presented from March, it has been reported.

The hepatitis viruses commonly associated with this condition have been excluded.

And there is currently no clear connection between the cases.

Dr Nicholas Phin, director of Public Health for Public Health Scotland, the investigation into the cases was in the early stages.

He said: “If you have a child who is showing signs of jaundice, where the skin has a yellow tinge, and is most easily seen in the whites of the eyes, then parents should contact their GP or other health care professional.

“We are continuing to investigate these cases and will provide further updates as and when they are available.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said that the 11 cases discovered, which presented as an inflammation of the liver, were “termed as being non A to E hepatitis as they are not explained by the usual hepatitis viruses”.

He added: “All potential causes are being investigated and the Scottish Government will continue to closely monitor the situation along with PHS and other health protection agencies.”

Each year, about seven or eight cases of non A to E hepatitis, without underlying diagnoses, are detected in children in Scotland.

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