Health officials search for cause of mysterious hepatitis outbreaks

Scientists and health officials are investigating upticks in severe hepatitis cases among young children in the U.S. and Europe, according to Science.

While a majority of cases (74) have occurred in the U.K., nine cases have been confirmed in Alabama, the state's health department said April 15. The children, all younger than 10, reported gastrointestinal symptoms and had varying degrees of liver injury. Two had to receive liver transplants. 

The CDC is working with Alabama health officials and pediatric healthcare providers to investigate the cases. So far, no epidemiological link has been found among the children, who were from all across the state. 

Every child in Alabama and about half of affected children in the U.K. tested positive for an adenovirus, leading experts to suspect its involvement in the mysterious outbreaks.

The CDC is looking for similar cases in other states and working with international colleagues to confirm the source of the illnesses. 

Learn more here.

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