Ten additional states have reported similar cases that have become part of a larger international outbreak following a national health alert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concerning an unusual cluster of severe hepatitis in children in Alabama.
The children range in age from one month to sixteen years old and present with the typical signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis, such as jaundice, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
According to reports, adenovirus type 41, the virus that causes the common cold, was found in five out of nine of the first cases in Alabama. According to a person close to the matter, six patients with varying degrees of hepatitis had liver biopsies that did not reveal any evidence of adenovirus on pathology.
Minnesota is the latest state to report multiple cases. M Health Fairview reports two cases to the Minnesota Department of Health involving an infant and a 2-year-old; one had been treated for several months, while the other needed a liver transplant. An M Health Fairview pediatric gastroenterologist and transplant hepatologist said that the cause of this child’s acute hepatitis remains a mystery. As a result, I informed the Minnesota Department of Health, and they are now investigating the case.
According to a spokeswoman for the California Department of Public Health, “We don’t know yet whether Adenovirus played a role in these rare illnesses or whether these cases are linked.” We encourage parents and guardians to practice good hand hygiene, cover coughs and sneezes, and keep their children home from school to prevent infection and illness. Or childcare while they are sick, despite the fact that only a few cases of this rare illness were reported.