Parents in England and Scotland have been told to keep an eye out for signs of hepatitis in their children, after a number of cases were detected.

In England there have been around 60 cases of the inflammatory liver condition recorded, whilst 11 in Scotland have sent children to the hospital.

Dr Meera Chand, director of clinical and emerging infections at the UK Health Security Agency, said “investigations for a wide range of potential causes are under way, including any possible links to infectious diseases”.

She added: “We are working with partners to raise awareness among healthcare professionals, so that any further children who may be affected can be identified early and the appropriate tests carried out.

“We are also reminding parents to be aware of the symptoms of jaundice – including skin with a yellow tinge which is most easily seen in the whites of the eyes – and to contact a healthcare professional if they have concerns.”

York Press: Scientists have not yet found the reason why there have been a spate of Hepatitis cases (PA)Scientists have not yet found the reason why there have been a spate of Hepatitis cases (PA) (Image: PA)

While the condition may have occurred for a number of reasons, including several viral infections common in children, the cases under investigation have not found the common viruses which usually cause the condition.

In Scotland health bosses said the number of cases in such a short period of time, combined with the geographical spread and severity of illness, was “unusual”.

There are currently no clear causes for the cases which have been detected in Lanarkshire, Tayside, Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Fife.

Parents have been urged to contact their GP or other healthcare professional if they spot signs in their children.

What are Hepatitis symptoms?

According to the NHS website, the symptoms of Hepatitis can 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
  • itchy skin
  • yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)