Cases of children with severe hepatitis of unknown origin have been reported in the media in recent weeks. The WHO advises that further investigations are ongoing.
• This is a rare occurrence.
• There has not been an unusual spike in cases in Australia.
• Ongoing surveillance in Australia is occurring.
• It is not known if there is a link to COVID-19. There is no known link to the COVID-19 vaccine.
• Practice thorough hand washing (including supervising children).
• Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
• Contact your health professional if you are concerned about your child’s health.
Gastroenterological Society of Australia paediatric hepatologist Professor Winita Hardikar offers the following clinical advice to parents/carers: “In Australia, each year we see a small number of children with an unexplained hepatitis, some of whom are sick enough to require a liver transplant. We have not seen an unusual spike in cases here but are undertaking surveillance.”
Parents/Carers should be alert to the symptoms and contact a healthcare professional without delay if they are concerned.
• Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of appetite or fever (above 38 degrees).
• Patients might develop yellow colouring of the skin and eyes, called ‘jaundice,’ along with dark urine and pale-coloured faeces (poo).
For Further Advice Contact Your Health Professional: