Ten States Report Mysterious Liver Disease Outbreak Among Kids

An increasing number of states are reporting on mysterious cases of hepatitis in kids.

According to ABC 7, following a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding a number of hepatitis cases in Alabama, 9 other states have since reported similar cases, which contribute to a trend seen internationally.

Children between the ages of 1 month to 16 years old showed signs of acute hepatitis, ranging from jaundice to abdominal pain to diarrhea.

The first cases the CDC reported regarding the hepatitis cases in the United States were in Alabama, with the ages of the children ranging from two to five. Additionally, five out of the nine patients were reported to have contracted adenovirus type 41, one of the viruses known to cause the common cold.

Additionally, the ABC 7 report indicates that researchers are still looking to link the adenovirus to the symptoms. However, out of the 50 or so known adenovirus types, type 41 is only known to cause respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms, not severe hepatitis. So researchers are still investigating other links, such as other viruses, environmental toxins, and medications.

Meanwhile, according to KSTP-TV, Minnesota is one of the latest states to report several cases. M Health Fairview has since reported two cases to the Minnesota Department of Health involving an infant and a two-year-old, one of which required a liver transplant.

Dr. Heli Bhatt, a pediatric gastroenterologist and transplant hepatologist at M Health Fairview, said, “right now, a lot is unknown.”

“We are blaming all of this on adenovirus, and yes a lot of cases do have this adenovirus, but whether it is just that kid had adenovirus and had this, is it coincidental or proven? We don’t know.” 


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