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Deadly outbreak of children’s hepatitis may have been brought on by lockdown weakening immunity, health chiefs say as two more children need liver transplants in UK and dozens are sick.

Published: 26.4.2022 21:14

UK health officials said the global outbreak in cases may be as a result of pandemic measures which prevented children in their ‘formative’ years being exposed to common infections.

In total, 114 cases of ‘acute hepatitis of unknown origin’ have been reported in the UK in the last four weeks, with ten youngsters undergoing critical liver transplant procedures.

Experts say lockdowns – which prompted concerns for children’s physical and mental health – may have weakened the immunity of children and left them more susceptible to the virus, or the offending pathogen may have mutated to pose a greater threat.

UK officials have ruled out the Covid vaccine as a possible cause, with none of the ill British children vaccinated because of their young age. None of the 11 cases in the US were jabbed either.

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