CDC Seeks Answers in Hepatitis Outbreak

Hepatitis outbreak affecting kids still under investigation by health officials

(RxWiki News) Health officials are still searching for answers about a hepatitis outbreak that has affected children.

While officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still do not have definitive answers to what might have caused the illnesses, they are examining a possible link between adenovirus infections and hepatitis infections in kids.

The outbreak, which began in Alabama in late 2021, quickly spread to the majority of states, potentially affecting hundreds of children.

At the time of publication, the CDC was investigating 305 potential cases of hepatitis, which causes inflammation of the liver. The only states that did not have people under investigation for possible hepatitis related to this outbreak were Montana, Wyoming, Kansas, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, West Virginia, South Carolina, Alaska and Washington, DC.

Health officials were investigating a possible connection between the hepatitis outbreak and previous infection with adenovirus.

"Laboratory tests identified that some of the children in Alabama had adenovirus type 41, which is more likely to cause severe stomach illness in children," the CDC wrote in an update. "Although there have been previous reports of hepatitis in children with suppressed immune systems who were infected with adenovirus, adenovirus type 41 is not a common cause of hepatitis in otherwise healthy children."

According to the CDC, the outbreak appears to have affected other countries, too. The World Health Organization (WHO) was leading a global investigation.

The CDC emphasized that it could not confirm the cause of the outbreak and that it was still investigating.;

If you are concerned that your child may have hepatitis, seek immediate medical care.

Review Date: 
June 28, 2022