CDC says adenovirus may have caused outbreak of severe hepatitis in children

Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 7:49 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - U.S. health officials said in a new report that adenovirus may have caused an outbreak of severe hepatitis that affected several children in Alabama.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all nine kids with severe acute hepatitis, three of whom suffered liver failure, tested positive for adenovirus and none of them had a history of COVID-19 infection.

The CDC issued a nationwide health alert last week. It said adenovirus infection may be an under-recognized contributor to liver injury in otherwise healthy children but further investigation is needed. While hepatitis is not uncommon in children, the cluster of cases here in Alabama surprised physicians because the previously healthy kids had severe symptoms and did not test positive for hepatitis viruses.

The children ranged in age from 2-6 years old.

Three of the patients suffered liver failure and two needed liver transplants.

All of them have either recovered or are recovering.

Doctors in Alabama identified the first five cases last fall. They then identified four more cases through February 2022.

No additional cases have been identified in Alabama since February.

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