OTTAWA -- The Public Health Agency of Canada says it looking into reports of severe acute hepatitis, or liver inflammation, among young children in Canada.

The federal agency says the cases are being investigated to determine if they are related to those in the United Kingdom and the United States.

A spokesperson did not share any further details, such as the number of cases, age of the children or their health condition.

British health officials have said they are investigating what's behind a spike there, noting there is increasing evidence the cases could be linked to a common virus.

The U.K. Health Security Agency said earlier it has recorded 111 cases of unexplained hepatitis in children under 10 since January. Ten of the children needed liver transplants. The U.N. health agency said it has so far received reports of at least 169 cases of “acute hepatitis of unknown origin,” and that one death had been reported.

While it isn't clear what's causing the illnesses, a leading suspect is adenovirus, which was detected in 75 per cent of the confirmed cases tested, the U.K. agency said in statement Monday.

Adenovirus, a common group of viruses, is now circulating in children at higher than average levels after dropping to unusually low levels during the pandemic.

One avenue of inquiry being explored is that the outbreak may be linked to a surge in common viral infections after COVID-19 restrictions were phased out. Children who weren't exposed to adenovirus over the last two years may now be getting hit harder when they are exposed to the viruses.

There are dozens of adenoviruses, many associated with cold-like symptoms, fever, sore throat and pink eye.

U.S. authorities said earlier this month that they were investigating a cluster of otherwise unexplained hepatitis cases diagnosed in nine Alabama children who also tested positive for adenovirus.