CDC Alerted: Alabama Children Diagnosed with Hepatitis

CDC Issues “National Health Alert” after Group of Alabama Children Diagnosed with Hepatitis and Adenovirus. 

By Leada Gore |

The Centers for Disease Control has issued a national health alert after a cluster of children in Alabama were diagnosed with hepatitis and adenovirus.
The CDC is currently working with the Alabama Department of Public Health to investigate nine cases of hepatitis of unknown origin in children ages 1-6. All the children were previously healthy.
The first U.S cases were identified in October 2021 in Alabama with five children experiencing a significant liver injury, including some with acute liver failure. The children also tested positive for adenovirus. Adenoviruses are common and typically cause a mild flu-like or gastrointestinal illness.
Hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C viruses were ruled out, the CDC said.
A later review showed four additional cases, all of whom had a liver injury and adenovirus infections; some were identified as having adenovirus type 41, which more commonly causes pediatric acute gastroenteritis. No link among the children was found and a statewide alert sent in February hasn’t yielded any additional cases.
None of the patients died but two required liver transplants.

CDC said it is also aware of an increase in pediatric hepatitis in Europe and is working with health officials there. Adenovirus has been confirmed in several of the European cases, but not all.
Symptoms of hepatitis, or inflammation of the liver, include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, light-colored stools, joint pain, and jaundice and can be caused by viruses. Adenoviruses can spread person-to-person and most commonly cause respiratory illness, but depending on the type, can also cause other illnesses such as gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach or intestines), conjunctivitis (pink eye), and cystitis (bladder infection).
CDC is asking physicians to consider adenovirus testing for pediatric patients with hepatitis and report cases to the CDC.

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