Hepatitis symptoms in children: Signs to be aware of after sudden rise of cases in the UK

This Morning: Dr Ellie on link between dogs and hepatitis

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Meanwhile, parents have been asked to look out for signs of hepatitis in their children including:
• Muscle and joint pain
• A high temperature
• Feeling and being sick
• Feeling unusually tired all the time
• A general sense of feeling unwell
• Loss of appetite
• Tummy pain
• Dark urine
• Pale, grey-coloured poo
• Itchy skin
• Jaundice.

As of April, there were a reported 169 cases of acute hepatitis in the UK while the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said the total number worldwide was around 450.

In Ireland, there have been six probable cases of children with hepatitis of an unknown cause.

Of these six, one has received a liver transplant while another has sadly passed away.

As well as the adenovirus, family pets, and Covid lockdowns, scientists are also investigating whether the COVID-19 virus has played a role; this comes amidst reports some of the children experiencing severe illness had not been vaccinated.

However, not only has children’s health come under the microscope with regard to the rise in acute hepatitis cases, but health campaigners have said a recent decision by the Government was also harming children’s health.

Recently, the Conservative Party decided to delay its ban on multi-buy deals for junk food.

The Department of Health said the planned ban was being put on hold for 12 months in order to help families through the cost-of-living crisis.

Plans to restrict TV advertising of junk food before the nine o’clock watershed have also been put on hold.

In response to the announcement, health campaigners have come out in force to condemn the decision.

TV chef Jamie Oliver described the decision as “a wasted opportunity and it starts to erode the whole obesity strategy – which at some point looked progressive and world-leading”.

Oliver added he hoped Boris Johnson would prove him wrong “and show real leadership to give young people a healthier and fairer future”.

Former health minister Lord Bethell added the move was “unconservative”.

While TV chefs and former health ministers have expressed derision at the decision, so too has Cancer Research UK.

Diet plays a key role in a person’s risk of cancer alongside other lifestyle habits such as level of exercise.

Michelle Mitchell, Chief Executive of the charity, said she was “extremely disappointed” by the announcement.

Last year a study by Cancer Research UK found “strong evidence” junk food adverts on social media influenced the eating choices of young people.

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