CDC probing mysterious liver disease suspected in children’s deaths
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U.S. health officials are investigating more than 100 possible cases of a mysterious and serious liver disease in children, including five deaths.
Nearly two dozen states have reported suspected cases after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called on doctors to look for shocking cases of hepatitis. It occurs in late October in children under 10 years of age. So far, only nine cases have been confirmed in Alabama.
“We are throwing a wide net to expand our understanding,” Dr. J. Butler of the CDC said Friday.
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Butler explained that although the CDC was “throwing wide net” in its investigation, not all cases could be linked to the same cause.
“Investigators here and around the world are working hard to determine the cause,” Butler continued.
The cause of the illness is not clear. Adenovirus was detected in half of the children, “but we do not know if it is the cause,” he said.
There are dozens of adenoviruses, many of which are associated with cold-like symptoms, fever, sore throat and pink eyes. But some versions can trigger other problems, including inflammation of the stomach and intestines. Officials are searching for a link to a specific version that is commonly associated with intestinal inflammation.
About 200 cases of mysterious liver disease in children: officials
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in a press briefing that infections across 25 states could be linked to a global outbreak of the disease that has killed more than one child. According to the World Health Organization, there have been 300 possible cases in 20 countries this week.
In the United States, 94% of children were hospitalized and eight received liver transplants.
“It’s still a very rare occurrence,” Butler said. “Most of these cases have been recovered and fully recovered.”
In April, the CDC issued a health advisory in response to a cluster of mysterious hepatitis cases involving nine children in Alabama.
The mystery goes back to November, when Alabama health officials began investigating the first of nine cases of severe hepatitis among children in that state. None of these viruses are usually positive for hepatitis B virus. However, the adenovirus tested positive.
Butler said no Alabama child has been vaccinated against Covid-19. This has been ruled out as a possible cause, “and we hope this information will help clarify some of the speculation circulating online.”
Symptoms of hepatitis include hepatitis, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, light-colored stools, joint pain, and jaundice.
In addition to Alabama, the states reporting suspicious cases are: California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, Nebraska, Nebraska, Nebraska. Texas, Washington, Wisconsin. There have been at least one lawsuit in Puerto Rico.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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