In July 2022, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had said that the world is currently facing a new outbreak of “unexplained acute hepatitis infections” affecting children. A hepatitis outbreak has been reported in 35 countries. The first cases of severe acute hepatitis were reported from Scotland in early April this year.

“And from that time, over the last four months, more than a thousand cases have been reported from 35 countries worldwide. The majority of these cases are in young children aged less than five years,” says Dr Philippa Easterbrook, Senior Scientist in the Global Hepatitis Programme, HIV department at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva.

Read: Doctor explains why antibiotics are prescribed when your child is sick and if there are any side effects

With this we need to be attentive about the infection and be well informed about it.

In this article, we will discuss the various symptoms associated with hepatitis in kids, the possible causes and what are the steps that we need to follow to manage the infection.

The acute hepatitis infection that is affecting kids is the inflammation of the liver. More than one thousand cases have been reported from 35 countries so far.

The infection starts with abdominal pain and other symptoms of acute gastroenteritis and rapidly progresses to jaundice and liver damage.

“A distinctive feature of this event has been the rapid progression and the severity of the liver disease in previously healthy children,” the WHO expert says and adds that about a third have required intensive care support.

“18 children, that’s around 2.5%, died,” says Dr Easterbrook.

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As 35 countries report an outbreak, here’s what we should know about symptoms, possible causes and steps to manage

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