New Jersey health officials are monitoring for reports of potential cases of mysterious hepatitis among children and are aware of 30 cases in 10 U.S. states and 300 probable cases worldwide.
Doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio have treated at least six cases of severe hepatitis in previously healthy young children, and one of them required a liver transplant. The cause of the disease is not known.
Five children were admitted to an Alabama hospital with severe hepatitis and adenovirus in October and November. The CDC began an investigation, and more cases soon emerged throughout the country, in Europe, and now in Asia.
In the U.S., California, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, and Wisconsin have seen cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin.
At least 228 cases of hepatitis in children have been reported in 20 countries. The usual suspects, hepatitis viruses A through E, have been ruled out, and many of the children have tested positive for an adenovirus.
The WHO says the children are between 1 month and 16 years old, and at least 17 have needed a liver transplant. The children have experienced fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, and many have had abnormally high levels of liver enzymes.
Many epidemiologists think Covid infection, current or previous, could explain hepatitis, though the UKHSA report lists several working hypotheses. Another theory is that public health measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19 may have set up some children to have more severe illnesses.
Read more on this topic via the news sources below:
- Mysterious liver illness in kids continues to spread. N.J. parents should look for these signs. NJ.com
- Hepatitis in children: More cases of unusual liver damage reported in the U.S. NBC News
- Disease detectives see clues in viral hepatitis cases in kids STAT
- ‘They’re still coming’: More cases of unusual liver damage reported in kids in the U.S. Yahoo News
- Several suspected cases of hepatitis reported among kids in Georgia, state health department says 11Alive
- View Full Coverage on Google News