Childhood Hepatitis Cases of Unknown Origin Reported in Multiple States

Cases of childhood hepatitis of unknown origin have been reported in Minnesota and Wisconsin following a cluster of nine cases in Alabama in recent months.

On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced in a press release that it was investigating four such cases in children in Badger State.

“This includes two children who had serious outcomes, a liver transplant and one death,” the state health department said.

“A possible association between pediatric hepatitis and adenovirus infection in children who test negative for hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E viruses is currently being investigated worldwide. “, adds the press release.

On Friday, Minnesota Department of Health spokesman Dough Schultz said hospitals across the state have also reported cases of children infected with the virus of inexplicable origin, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

Pediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Heli Bhatt of M Health Fairview in Minnesota noted that a baby had recently undergone a liver transplant, WCCO reported. “At the time, doctors were unaware of the need to test the hepatitis and adenovirus cases that were popping up across the country, but in hindsight, the baby’s case fits the criteria,” the outlet added. .

Between October 2021 and February, health officials identified nine Albama children, ages one to six, with hepatitis of unknown origin accompanied by an adenovirus infection, the Centers for Disease Control said. and Prevention (CDC) in their report.

“All nine children were patients of the Children’s of Alabama,” the CDC said. “These patients came from geographically distinct areas of the state; no epidemiological link between the patients has been identified.

The CDC added:

All patients received negative test results for hepatitis A, B, and C viruses, and several other causes of hepatitis and pediatric infections were ruled out, including autoimmune hepatitis, Wilson, bacteremia, urinary tract infections and SARS-CoV-2 infection. None of the children had a documented history of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Seven of the patients were girls and none of the patients were immunocompromised, the CDC said.

The CDC noted:

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that can be caused by viral infections, alcohol consumption, toxins, medications, and certain other medical conditions. In the United States, the most common causes of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C viruses. [2]. Signs and symptoms of hepatitis include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, pale stools, joint pain, and jaundice. [2]. The treatment of hepatitis depends on the underlying etiology.

In total, more than two dozen cases have been reported nationwide, according to WCCO. There have been 100 confirmed cases worldwide, according to KMSP.


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