U.S. reports 180 severe hepatitis cases in children, over 70 cases in recent two weeks
LOS ANGELES. KAZINFORM A total of 180 children with acute hepatitis of unknown cause have been reported from 36 U.S. states and territories as of Wednesday, according to the latest update of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The new number is an increase of 71 cases from the 109 cases reported by the CDC on May 5, Xinhua reports.
There have been no reported deaths since February 2022, and the proportion of pediatric patients requiring liver transplants has gone down from 15 percent to 9 percent since May 5, according to the CDC.
It is not yet clear what is driving these cases in young children.
Adenovirus has been detected in nearly half of the children and continues to be a strong lead, said the CDC.
Further laboratory tests are being conducted to look more closely at the virus genome and other potential pathogens, such as SARS-CoV-2, said the CDC.
The CDC continues to examine possible causes, including testing for and ruling out some of the viruses that commonly cause hepatitis, including hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E.
In addition, the agency is communicating with key medical groups and continues to provide updated reporting and laboratory guidance for clinicians who may identify hepatitis of unknown cause in children.
It is important to note that severe hepatitis in children remains rare, said the CDC. «However, we encourage parents and caregivers to be aware of the symptoms of hepatitis - particularly jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin or eyes - and to contact their child's healthcare provider with any concern.»
On April 21, the CDC issued a nationwide health alert to notify clinicians and public health authorities about a cluster of children identified with hepatitis and adenovirus infection.
The agency asked all physicians to be on the lookout for symptoms and to report any suspected cases of hepatitis of unknown origin to their local and state health departments.
Since then, state health departments have been working with pediatric specialists in their states to identify possible cases.