U.S. officials are investigating more than 100 cases of a mysterious, severe liver disease in children. Five deaths have been reported. After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a call for doctors, nearly two dozen states reported cases. These cases were reported in children aged 10 and under. Only nine cases have been confirmed in Alabama so far.
Jay Butler, CDC’s Director of Research, stated Friday that “We are widening our understanding.”
Butler stated that even though the CDC “casts a wide net” when investigating cases, not all may be related to the same cause.
Butler said, “Investigators from around the world are working hard to find the cause.”
It is not clear what’s causing these illnesses. He said that half of the children had Adenovirus, but that it was not known if this is the cause.
Many adenoviruses can cause cold-like symptoms like fever, sore throat, pink eye, and sore throat. Some adenoviruses can cause inflammation in the stomach or intestines. Officials are looking into a possible link to one version that is normally associated with inflammation in the gut.
In a press conference, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that 25 of the cases could be linked to a global epidemic that has claimed multiple lives. According to the World Health Organization, there were 300 cases this week in 20 countries.
The U.S. saw 94% of children in hospital and eight receiving liver transplants.
Butler stated that it is still rare. “The majority of these cases are fully recovered.”
The CDC issued a health alert in April in response to nine mysterious cases of hepatitis in Alabama.
This mystery dates back to November when Alabama health officials started looking into nine cases of severe liver disease in children. None of the cases tested positive for the viruses that cause hepatitis. However, one person tested positive for adenovirus.
Butler stated that none of the children in Alabama were vaccinated against COVID-19. This has been ruled out as possible cause. “We hope this information helps clarify some speculation that is circulating online.”
Hepatitis symptoms include liver inflammation, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite.