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Public Health Wales investigating hepatitis cases

Published: 6 April 2022

Public Health Wales is working with Public Health Scotland (PHS), Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland) and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to investigate cases of acute hepatitis in children.

The cause of these is not yet known, but the most common causes from hepatitis viruses have been ruled out.

There are no known cases in Wales under active investigation currently, but a very small number of cases from earlier this year corresponded with the clinical presentation.  There is no known association with travel.

Dr Giri Shankar, Director of Health Protection for Public Health Wales, said:

“Hepatitis can cause jaundice and inflammation of the liver, so parents and carers should be aware of the symptoms of jaundice – including skin with a yellow tinge which is most easily seen in the whites of the eyes.

“We are reminding the public to familiarise themselves with this and other symptoms of hepatitis in light of these UK cases.

“Parents and carers are reminded that they should keep their children away from school and seek advice from a GP or an appropriate specialist if their child experiences any symptoms linked with hepatitis.”

Hepatitis symptoms include:
•    dark urine
•    pale, grey-coloured poo
•    itchy skin
•    yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)
•    muscle and joint pain
•    a high temperature
•    feeling and being sick
•    feeling unusually tired all the time
•    loss of appetite
•    tummy pain