Hepatitis outbreak in children: CDC on symptoms parents should look for

The Centers for Disease Control is alerting parents to the signs of hepatitis as it continues to investigate a rare outbreak among children.

The agency said this week it is investigating 109 hepatitis cases that infected children under 10-year-old across the country. Ninety percent of the children affected had to be hospitalized, 14% resulted in a liver transplant and five children died. Globally more than 340 probable cases have been reported in 20 countries.

The cause of the reported cases is unknown, according to the CDC though some of the children with hepatitis have also had adenovirus type 41, a virus that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and fever, often accompanied by respiratory symptoms.


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The first cluster of nine cases was reported in Alabama in October 2021. All the children in Alabama were between ages 1 and 6 and all tested positive for adenovirus.

Parents are advised to be on the lookout for symptoms of hepatitis in children and contact their healthcare provider quickly if they have concerns.

“Hearing about severe liver disease in children can be concerning. If you have any questions about your child’s health, call your child’s healthcare provider,” CDC said.

Here are the symptoms parents are advised to be on alert for:

Symptoms of liver inflammation

  • fever
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • dark urine
  • light-colored stools (poop)
  • joint pain
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin)

Keep children up to date on all their vaccinations.

Help your child take everyday actions to help prevent disease, like:

  • washing hands often,
  • avoiding people who are sick,
  • covering coughs and sneezes, and
  • teaching them to avoid touching the eyes, nose, or mouth.

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