A SECOND child has had to receive a liver transplant after contracting a serious strain of hepatitis – as Irish cases of the mystery infection soared to 12.

One child diagnosed with the unknown form of hepatitis died, health chiefs confirmed last month, while another young patient had a liver transplant.

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Two children in Ireland have had to receive a liver transplant after contracting mysterious hepatitisCredit: Getty

And now a second child was rushed to the UK for an urgent liver transplant, the Irish Independent reported.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre said there have been 12 probable cases identified in Ireland since March and a number of other children are under surveillance for the illness.

HPSC chiefs said: “This is more than would usually be expected over this period of time. The children affected have no links to the other children involved

“To date no single virus has been identified in all cases. Investigations are currently ongoing to identify the cause of these illnesses.

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“All probable cases are in children between the ages of 1 and 12 years of age and all have been hospitalised.

“Two children have received a liver transplant and there has been one death associated with this disease.”

They added: “In the UK, health authorities have also reported an increase in hepatitis of unknown cause in children.

“Investigations are underway in the UK to determine the cause of the illness.

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“Information gathered thus far from the UK investigations suggest that the recent cases of hepatitis may be linked to adenovirus infection, however this theory is still under investigation.

“The Irish cases have no links to the UK cases, and only one had a recent travel history to the UK before onset of symptoms.”

MYSTERIOUS CAUSE

Health chiefs added that none of the common viruses that usually cause hepatitis have been detected in any of the current cases.

They have suggested other possible causes including Covid-19 and environmental factors that are being investigated.

Health chiefs have urged parents to be especially vigilant for signs of jaundice in their children.

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Other symptoms include muscle and joint pain, a high temperature. feeling and being sick, feeling unusually tired all the time, a general sense of feeling unwell, loss of appetite, tummy pain, dark urine, pale, grey-coloured poo and itchy skin.

Parents are advised to keep their child out of school or creche and go to their GP if their child develops symptoms of hepatitis.

Majority of children diagnosed with hepatitis have not received a COVID-19 vaccine

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Majority of children diagnosed with hepatitis have not received a COVID-19 vaccineCredit: Getty Images – Getty

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