CDC Gives New Information About Mysterious Hepatitis Cases in Children
There are more than 200 cases of hepatitis in the United States alone. More than 600 people around the world have contracted this disease. No one knows why this virus is spreading. Some experts think it could be linked to an adenoviruses.
The United States has been hit hardest by the outbreak of Hepatitis E. At least 216 people have been infected with the virus, including at least 38 who needed a transplant. The disease has killed 9 children. The most common symptom of the illness is jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, and dark urine.
The cause of the mysterious hepatitis is still unknown. Officials suspect a type of virus known as an adenovirus might be involved. About 75 percent of children who had been tested for adenoviruses tested positive. Of the British children tested for adenviruses, about 75 percent tested positive for adenoviruse. Officials are also concerned about possible exposure to coronavirus, but of 188 children tested for COVID-19, only 12 percent tested positive for COVID-19.
Officials say it’s likely that a coinfection or a previous COVID 19 infection may be linked to these cases. More investigation is needed.
Cases date back to
Dr. Jay Butler, CDC’s deputy director for infectious diseases says Trusted Source. “15 days ago, CDC issued an alert to notify clinicians and officials about an investigation involving nine young children in Alabama who were identified between October of 2021 to February of 2022 with hepatitis and adenovirus infections.”
All nine children in Alabama tested negative for adenovirus. Adenovirus is a common virus that usually causes mild cold or flu like symptoms or stomach and intestinal issues.
There are currently no known cases of children contracting COVID-19. However, there are many unknown factors about this virus. We do not know if children will be immune or susceptible to the disease. Children should take precautions as adults, but we do not know how much risk they face.
Lack of identifiable cause is ‘concerning’
In an article published by the journal Hepatology, Michelle M. Kelly, PhD says the lack of identifiable cause is concerning. She points out that the number of reported hepatitis cases in children in America doesn’t seem to be increasing.
While there is an increase in cases of Hepatitis C in the United States, the overall number of children affected by this disease remains low. Other countries with universal medical records have found more cases of Hepatitis in children under 5.
Three causes of hepatitis
Hepatitis B is an infectious disease caused by a virus. It affects the liver. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), pale stool, yellowing of the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, light-colored patches on the skin, itching, and bleeding under the fingernails.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Medications, viruses, and chemical exposures cause hepatitis. Jaundice results when the liver fails to remove bilirubin from the bloodstream. This causes the skin and eyes to turn yellow.
When the liver starts failing, the body accumulates toxic chemicals that normally get flushed out. These toxins cause jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes.
Other symptoms include dark urine and stool becoming white, he said, adding that the disease was treatable if caught early.