The CDC is investigating 109 cases of childhood hepatitis, including 5 deaths

The deaths of five children and what could be a different group of more than 100 cases of liver disease in children in the United States are being investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency. said on Friday.

The CDC said it was investigating cases involving 109 children in 25 states and territories that had or had an agency called “unknown liver disease.”

Dr. Jay Butler, director of epidemiology at the CDC, said most of the children had recovered. But more than 90 percent have been hospitalized, 14 percent have had a liver transplant and more than half have had an adenovirus, he said.

The CDC and overseas experts are investigating whether adenovirus, a virus that causes intestinal infections such as vomiting and diarrhea, may be the cause of these cases. But the organization has not yet decided on the cause of the incident or the connection of each of them, and it has warned against the decision.

Dr. Butler called it “the evolving situation” in a news release on Friday. He further added, “It is important to keep in mind that passion for children is rare despite the potential for further increase in the events we report today. no. “

Liver disease and liver failure are uncommon in children, especially in healthy children, and up to now the number of liver diseases in the United States not more than the most common.

The agency did not specify the number of children who died or where the deaths occurred.

The United Kingdom is investigating more – more than 160 patients – among children who have recently been diagnosed with or have liver disease.

Hepatitis, a chronic liver disease, usually occurs in the elderly and can be caused by a disease – which responds to treatment with drugs – or by alcohol, by some drugs, or from autoimmune diseases. Symptoms include pale skin and eyes, nausea, and abdominal pain.

Dr. Butler also said that there is currently no evidence that Covid-19 virus or the Covid vaccine has been linked to the US virus. The World Health Organization also said this week that “the vast majority” of children have not been vaccinated against the diseases it has been screened for.

The alarm went off two weeks ago when the CDC issued a report, about nine cases of liver disease in children in Alabama that have started to fall this year. All have evidence of adenovirus infection. Their average age is 2.

The problem for the CDC is to determine whether the adenovirus is the cause or the culprit, Dr. Butler said. Doctors do not routinely test children for adenovirus infection – it is not a virus that has been reported in the United States – which makes it difficult to diagnose and treat. He told doctors to consider testing for adenovirus if the child was sick with certain symptoms.

It is not known what would happen to the nine children who were randomly diagnosed with adenovirus. The virus is also seasonal and in the fall and winter, when Alabama children are sick, is the adenovirus season.

Adding to the problem is that during the time the children are being screened, the rate of infection, if it is found at all, is very low.

“We are working hard to determine the cause,” Drs. Butler said. Because hepatitis B in children is still “a rare condition,” he said, research is difficult.

Other potential causes include environmental disturbances, including transmission to animals or vaccines, including the adenovirus vaccine “at the top of the list,” Dr. Butler said.

“We are developing a wide web,” he said.

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