PHS investigates increase in hepatitis cases in children

12 April 2022

Article: 56/1401

Public Health Scotland (PHS) is investigating the cause of a small number of cases of hepatitis (liver inflammation) in young children across the central belt of Scotland. PHS are currently aware of 11 cases requiring admission to hospital in children aged between one and five years old in four NHS health board areas, Lanarkshire, Tayside, Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Fife. The hepatitis viruses commonly associated with this condition have been excluded.

Each year around seven or eight cases of non-A to E hepatitis, without other underlying diagnoses, are detected in children in Scotland. The number of cases in such a short period of time, combined with the geographical spread and severity of illness, in some cases, is unusual and requires further investigation.

PHS report that at present there is no clear cause or connection between the cases, although infection is considered to be a more probable source at this time.

All potential causes are currently being explored and work is ongoing with partners and other agencies across the UK to investigate these cases.

Source: PHS, 6 April 2022