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9 Alabama children test positive for adenovirus, investigation underway

ALABAMA (WHNT) — State health officials say nine children across Alabama have tested positive for the adenovirus, including two requiring liver transplants.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), officials are investigating the increase in hepatitis among Alabama children, although subsequent analysis found that adenovirus 41 was associated with this type of hepatitis.

The nine children, all under the age of 10, presented to health care providers with symptoms of gastrointestinal illness and variations of liver damage, including liver failure. None of them had any notable underlying conditions, according to health officials.

The ADPH has not determined an epidemiological link between the nine children statewide.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adenoviruses typically cause “mild, self-limiting influenza-like or gastrointestinal illness. In rarer cases, the virus can manifest as severe illness that may require hospitalization or lead to death.

The CDC says there are several ways adenoviruses spread from an infected person, including:

  • Close personal contact
  • Transmitted by coughing or sneezing
  • Touching an object or surface that contains adenovirus, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes without washing your hands
  • Contact with stool

The CDC says that to avoid adenoviruses, you should:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with sick people

For more information on adenoviruses and studies on how it affects children, click here.


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