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Tragic Irish child being treated for unexplained acute form of hepatitis dies in hospital

Another child has had a liver transplant. Both of these cases are linked to an unexplained type of hepatitis that is being reported across the globe

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A child in Ireland who was being treated in hospital for an acute form of hepatitis has died.

A second child, who was also being treated for the illness here, received a liver transplant in the UK, the HSE confirmed to RTÉ News. 

Both of these cases are linked to an unexplained type of hepatitis that is being reported across the globe. 

The UK first alerted other countries about this illness in April, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control says the total number of cases reported worldwide is around 450. 

Over the last two months, six probable cases of children with hepatitis of unknown cause have been detected in Ireland. 

All of these children were hospitalised and were between the ages of one and 12. 

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver tissue and there are a number of different types of the illness, including hepatitis A, B and C. 

However, this acute form of hepatitis is of unknown origin, so all possibilities of the cause of this in children recently are being investigated. 

It is currently being explored whether it is linked to an increase in infections caused by adenovirus, which is a common cause of childhood illness. 

Investigations are also underway in Ireland and other counties to see if current or prior Covid-19 infection increases the chance of children developing hepatitis.

However, none of the Irish cases of the illness had evidence of coronavirus at their time of admission to hospital.

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