A Mysterious Hepatitis Outbreak Among Children Is Baffling Doctors

Since last autumn, doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama have been wrestling with a mystery. From October 2021 through February of this year, nine children—the youngest 20 months old and the oldest 5 years and 9 months—were rushed to the hospital with concerning symptoms, all of which turned out to be due to unexplained cases of acute hepatitis, also known as liver inflammation. As the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported, all of the patients tested negative for the hepatitis A, B, and C viruses, and also tested negative for COVID-19. They did test positive for adenovirus, a common family of at least 50 different viruses—including the common cold—that typically cause respiratory symptoms, but can also cause intestinal problems. Seven of the nine pediatric patients were suffering from vomiting or diarrhea before admission, and five of the nine tested positive for adenovirus 41—one of the strains known to affect the gut. None of the children were immunocompromised, none suffered from any other known illnesses, and all came from different parts of the state, ruling out the idea of a local infection of some kind. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] In three cases, the hepatitis grew so severe that the children suffered from liver failure. Two children required liver transplants. Since then, all nine children have recovered or are recovering, but the cause of their illness remains unknown. Alab...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 Disease healthscienceclimate Source Type: news