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“We don’t know what it’s causing this hepatitis yet,” shared Dr Ellie, speaking on ITV’s This Morning. Health chiefs are investigating whether there’s any connection between dogs and the liver disease. They explain that a “high” number of hepatitis cases had contact with dogs.
However, Dr Ellie shared that some virus seems to be causing this mystery outbreak.
She said: “They think it might be a virus, not one of the hepatitis viruses.
“Maybe, one of the more common viruses we have around. Not Covid, we don’t think.”
While there’s currently no explanation how dogs could be causing the disease, it is thought that based on the available data, 64 out of 92 hepatitis patients had dog exposure.
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Dr Ellie continued: “Now, having a dog in the UK is very common.
“So, it’s not surprising that a lot of the children, who developed hepatitis, actually have a dog as a pet.
“It’s just a signal that they’ve noticed. I don’t want people to be concerned about it.
“Or sort of thinking about getting rid of the family pet at all.”
In case you’re not aware, hepatitis describes the inflammation of the liver.
There are many different types of this condition, with some of them being caused by a viral infection.
The NHS explains that some types will pass without any serious issues but others could be more long-lasting.
Unfortunately, hepatitis can also cause scarring of the liver or loss of its function in some cases.