CDC reports that adenovirus causes severe hepatitis in children in Alabama

Adenovirus structure, computer illustration showing the surface structure of the outer protein cover (capsid) of the virus.

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U.S. health officials say the adenovirus caused severe hepatitis in nine children in Alabama in February.

Nine children with severe acute hepatitis, three of whom had liver failure, tested positive for adenovirus and none of them had a Covid-19 infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Right now, we believe in adenovirus may it may be the cause of these reported cases, but other potential environmental and state factors are still being investigated, “the CDC said in a statement. common bonds or exposures have been found among these children “.

The CDC released the most accurate findings so far on children on Friday, following a national health alert last week. He said adenovirus infection may be an unknown aid to the liver damage of otherwise healthy children, but more research is needed.

Although hepatitis is not uncommon in children, the Alabama case group surprised doctors because the first healthy children had severe symptoms and did not test positive for the hepatitis virus.

U.S. and European public health authorities are closely monitoring cases of severe hepatitis in children after the United Kingdom warned the World Health Organization earlier this month about a series of such cases. The WHO has so far identified 169 cases worldwide, most of which are in the UK.

Nine children in the U.S. were patients at Alabama Children’s Hospital, ranging in age from 2 to 6, according to the CDC. Three of the patients suffered from liver failure and two needed a liver transplant. All of them have healed or are being healed.

Before entering the hospital the symptoms of the children were symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea and upper respiratory distress. Eight of the patients had scleral jaundice, the yellow of the white of the eye. Seven had enlarged liver, six had jaundice and one had encephalopathy, a broad term for brain disease.

All children tested positive for adenovirus, a rare infection that can cause respiratory illness, stomach pain, pink eyes, and a common infection that can cause bladder swelling or neurological disease. Adenovirus is a known cause of hepatitis in children with weak immune systems, but Alabama patients had a normal immune system and no significant health conditions, according to the CDC.

Although six of the children tested positive for Epstein-Barr virus, the CDC does not believe they had an acute infection because the antibodies were negative. All children tested negative for hepatitis A, B, and C viruses, according to the CDC. None of them had a history of Covid-19 infection.

Alabama doctors identified the first five cases last fall. The CDC and the Alabama Department of Public Health began an investigation in November. Four other cases were identified in Alabama as of February this year. No more cases have been identified in Alabama since February.

The CDC said it is closely monitoring the situation to better understand the cause of severe hepatitis in children and to find ways to prevent the disease. The public health agency told doctors to be aware that whole-blood tests, rather than plasma, may be better at detecting the presence of adenovirus.

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CDC reports that adenovirus causes severe hepatitis in children in Alabama

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