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Project #108:
Hepatitis in Children related to the pandemic

  • Type: Research
  • Topic areas: Risk from COVID (short term) [e.g. hospitalisation/death]; Post-COVID health impacts [e.g. long COVID]

UKHSA has recently detected higher than usual rates of liver inflammation (hepatitis) in children in England (see news story).

Possible causes are being investigated including COVID-19 and other causes such adenovirus ; it is thought that changes in patterns of circulating virus due to COVID-19 pandemic regulations could have also contributed to this outbreak.

In order to support the response teams investigation to prevent harm to children the OpenSAFELY team is conducting an analysis to provide data to inform the response. We will look at data on the recording of clinical codes on children’s electronic health records and provide charts on the trends over time. For example we will look at how many children have records that indicate they may have a gastrointestinal illness, a key sign of liver inflammation on children presenting in general practice for symptoms such as gastrointestinal illness and look for changes in the number of liver function tests in children which GPs may order to further investigate and diagnose hepatitis.


  • Study leads: Brian MacKenna
  • Organisation: University of Oxford and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine