Number of Hepatitis Cases in UK Children Being Investigated Rises to 108

By Alexander Zhang
Alexander Zhang
Alexander Zhang
April 21, 2022Updated: April 21, 2022

The number of hepatitis cases among young children being investigated has risen to 108, UK health officials have confirmed.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said on April 21 that a further 34 cases had been identified among children under the age of 10, bringing the total number of cases to 108.

Of all the confirmed cases, 79 are in England, 14 are in Scotland, and the remainder are in Wales and Northern Ireland, UKHSA said.

Eight among the affected children have received a liver transplant, the agency added.

There has been speculation that the hepatitis cases could have been caused by safety issues associated with COVID-19 vaccines.

But UKHSA said there is “no link” to the vaccine, as “none of the currently confirmed cases in the UK is known to have been vaccinated.”

Instead, the agency said the investigation “continues to point towards a link to adenovirus infection,” as 77 percent percent of the cases were positive for adenovirus.

But UKHSA said that “it is not usual to see this pattern of disease from adenovirus.” Therefore, the health authorities are “actively investigating other possible contributing factors, such as another infection (including COVID-19) or an environmental cause.”

Dr. Meera Chand, director of clinical and emerging infections at UKHSA, said the agency is working with public health officials in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to “swiftly investigate a wide range of possible factors” which may be causing the hepatitis cases.

Diagnostic pathologist Dr. Clare Craig told The Epoch Times last week that the cases could be down to lockdown measures, which have deeply modified the natural course of viral infections.

Gastroenteritis levels are way above baseline levels and that RSV infection in children (a dangerous winter bug that can be deadly) peaked in the summer, said Craig, a member of the organisation HART, which was set up to share concerns about policy and guidance recommendations relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The point is what we’ve done with lockdowns is that we’ve massively disrupted the way that we interact with each other and consequently we’ve interrupted microorganisms and the way we spread them to one another,” she added.

Hepatitis is a condition that affects the liver and may occur for a number of reasons, including several viral infections common in children. However, in the cases under investigation, the common viruses that cause hepatitis have not been detected.

“There are a lot of other viruses that could cause hepatitis like EBV. There are lots of potential causes,” said Craig.

Owen Evans and PA Media contributed to this report.

Related Topics