CDC warns clinicians of unusual hepatitis cases

The CDC issued a nationwide health alert April 21 about an unusual cluster of serious hepatitis cases with unknown causes in young children. 

Seventy-four cases have occurred in the U.K., and Alabama's Department of Public Health confirmed nine cases April 15. The children, all younger than 10, reported gastrointestinal symptoms and had varying degrees of liver injury. Two had to receive liver transplants, but no deaths were reported. None of the children had COVID-19 and were all healthy prior to infection, according to the alert. 

The CDC is investigating a possible association between pediatric hepatitis and adenovirus infection. 

"At this time, we believe adenovirus may be the cause for these reported cases, but investigators are still learning more — including ruling out other possible causes and identifying other possible contributing factors," a CDC statement said. "So far, other common causes of viral hepatitis, such as Hepatitis A, B and C, have been ruled out."

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