- Authorities in the United States are still investigating more than 100 cases of a mysterious childhood hepatitis.
- The rare childhood hepatitis has produced five deaths so far.
- The disease has also been detected in other countries.
What is happening? Health authorities in the United States continue to investigate more than a hundred possible cases of a mysterious and severe childhood hepatitis illness, including five deaths, according to the AP news agency and Fox News on Friday, May 6.
According to the AP report, about two dozen states reported suspected cases after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called on doctors to be on the lookout for unexpected cases of hepatitis in children.
US analyzes more than 100 cases of rare childhood hepatitis
The cases date from the end of October in children under 10 years of age. So far, only nine cases have been confirmed in Alabama. “We are casting a wide net to expand our understanding,” Dr. Jay Butler of the CDC said Friday.
It is not clear what causes the disease. Adenovirus was detected in half of the children, “but we don’t know if it is the cause,” said the expert quoted by the AP. There are dozens of adenoviruses, many associated with cold-like symptoms, fever, sore throat, and conjunctivitis. But some variants can cause other problems, such as inflammation of the stomach and intestines. Officials are exploring a link in a particular variant that is often associated with intestinal inflammation, the agency’s report explained.
About 20 countries have reported the disease
Federal health officials have found no evidence of an unusually large wave of adenovirus infections, even though many doctors don’t routinely test for them. This week, World Health Organization (WHO) officials said they had reports of nearly 300 probable cases in 20 countries, the AP reported.
In the United States, most of the cases have occurred in young children. Almost all were hospitalized, and eight have received liver transplants. “It remains a very unusual event. A large number of these cases have recovered,” said Dr. Jay Butler.
What are the symptoms?
The mystery surfaced in November, when Alabama health officials began analyzing the state’s first nine cases of severe childhood hepatitis. None tested positive for the viruses that commonly cause hepatitis. However, the tests came back positive for adenovirus, the AP reported.
Dr. Jay Butler noted that none of the Alabama children were vaccinated against COVID-19, so that has been ruled out as probable cause, “and we hope this information helps clarify some of the speculation circulating online.” As detailed by AP, the symptoms of hepatitis, or inflammation of the liver, include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, pale stools, joint pain, and jaundice.
Where has the mysterious childhood hepatitis been reported?
In addition to Alabama, states reporting suspected cases include California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Puerto Rico also reported at least one case.
Fox News mentioned that Jay Butler also explained that although the CDC is “casting a wide net” in its investigation, not all cases may be related to the same cause. “Investigators, both here and around the world, are working hard to determine the cause,” he said.
The post The US investigates 109 cases of mysterious hepatitis in children that has caused several deaths appeared first on Mundo Hispanico.