9 cases of severe hepatitis in Alabama children under investigation
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – Alabama health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating an increase in hepatitis in young children in Alabama and a possible association with Adenovirus 41.
Nine children less than 10 years old have tested positive for adenovirus, and two have required liver transplants, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
The children, who were from throughout the state, had symptoms of a gastrointestinal illness and varying degrees of liver injury, including liver failure, ADPH added.
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ADPH hasn’t been able to identify a link between the cases, and none of the children had an underlying health condition.
Adenoviruses are usually spread from an infected person to others through close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands, coughing and sneezing, or touching an object or surface with adenoviruses on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands. Contact can also be made with stool, for example, during diaper changing.
Adenoviruses are often resistant to common disinfectants and can remain infectious on surfaces and objects for long periods.
ADPH recommends the following to protect from getting sick:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and help young children do the same.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
ADPH issued a Health Alert Network notification in February to find additional cases.
The CDC is also looking for similar cases in other states and is discussing similar cases of hepatitis potentially associated with adenovirus with international colleagues, according to ADPH.
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