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Hepatitis in children is caused by breastfeeding mothers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

There is no clinical evidence that hepatitis in children is caused by the COVID-19 vaccines or by vaccinated breastfeeding mothers.

On April 23, 2022, the World Health Organization issued alerts about several unusual, acute, and severe hepatitis cases of unknown origin in children. As of late April, around 170 cases have been identified worldwide, most of them in the U.K., the WHO reported.

Amid the surge in hepatitis cases in children, a post on Facebook circulated implying that the cause of these cases was indirectly linked to COVID-19 vaccines. The post claimed that hepatitis cases in children were caused by vaccinated breastfeeding mothers. It further read: "The children are unvaccinated, but the breastfeeding mothers (in 100 percent of the cases) have been vaccinated with at least two doses." However, these claims are entirely baseless, according to official information by the authorities.

In a blog post on May 9, the U.K. Health Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed that there is no evidence of hepatitis in children being linked to COVID-19 vaccines. Although most of the cases reported are in children under four years of age, there is no evidence that these children had been breastfed by mothers who had received COVID-19 vaccines. The WHO's report also asserted that "Hypotheses related to side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines are currently not supported as the vast majority of affected children did not receive COVID-19 vaccination."

According to the current investigation by the UKHSA, it is suggested that the infections are caused by an adenovirus. Further research on other possible causes is actively being carried out. The UKHSA is working closely with other public health authorities to investigate cases of sudden onset hepatitis in children. According to the UKHSA, adenovirus was the common pathogen seen in 40 of 53 (75 percent) tested confirmed hepatitis cases.

Hepatitis is an illness that affects the liver and can be caused by a viral infection. The WHO is currently closely monitoring the situation and is working with the United Kingdom health authorities and the other member states. The WHO also encourages parents and children to wash their hands and practice good respiratory hygiene, which can help avoid the spread of infectious agents.

The COVID-19 vaccination is not associated with the sudden rise of hepatitis cases among children. The Facebook post wrongly implies that vaccinated breastfeeding mothers are responsible for the rise in hepatitis cases among children. We therefore mark the claim as false as there is no clinical evidence that COVID-19 vaccines were either directly or indirectly responsible for the uptick in hepatitis cases in children.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.

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