The HSE has confirmed the sad news that a child in Ireland being treated for an acute form of Hepatitis has now sadly passed away.
Meanwhile, another child suffering from the same illness has received a liver transplant in the UK.
This news comes as cases of an unknown strain of Hepatitis have been rising among children worldwide in recent weeks.
Over the past 10 weeks, there have been six probable cases of children with Hepatitis in Ireland, the HSE confirmed in a statement, adding that a small number of children are under investigation.
These cases were all seen in children under 12-years-of-age, and each child has been hospitalised with the illness.
“This is more than would usually be expected over this period of time. The children affected have no links to the other children involved,” the statement read. “To date no single virus has been identified in the cases. Investigations are currently ongoing to identify the cause of these illnesses.”
In the USA, there have been 109 cases of the virus detected, leading to five child deaths. In the UK, there has been at least 163 cases of the virus detected in children under 10-years-of-age, 11 of which needed liver transplants.
While some had initially believed that perhaps the Coivid-19 virus or the vaccine might be related to this new strain, the HSE has confirmed that of the six children currently in hospital with the acute form of Hepatitis, none of them were Covid-positive upon arrival and the majority of them had not received their Covid vaccine.
Some of the most common symptoms to watch out for with this new strain include vomiting and diarrhea followed by yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes.
Other symptoms include pale, grey-coloured stools, dark urine, muscle and joint pain, a high temperature, feeling unusually tired all the time, a general sense of feeling unwell, loss of appetite, tummy pain and itchy skin.
“If your child has any of these symptoms, you should contact your GP without delay. The GP will assess the child and refer on for further assessment as indicated,” the HSE advised.