Mystery of Hepatitis Cases in Kids Deepens as CDC Probe Continues

hepatitis cases in kids

The sudden development of acute hepatitis among American kids continues to become a reason to worry. As per the investigation being conducted by the CDC, the evidence indicates a specific strain of adenovirus that could possibly have caused the problem.

In the recent past, American children had to go through the development of acute hepatitis having unknown origin, as per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials stated on Friday.

The deputy director of CDC, Dr. Jay Butler said “The evidence is accumulating that there’s a role for adenovirus, particularly adenovirus 41,” he said. He continued, “The exact role that it plays, I think, is where we’re really wanting to focus the investigation.”

As per CDC, adenovirus happens to be a common form of virus that can become a reason to attract diseases like common cold to bronchitis.

Butler further stated that on Friday, another causality was reported which is related to pediatric hepatitis, raising the overall death toll in the country to six.

Mystery of Hepatitis Cases in Kids Deepens as CDC Probe Continues

At this time, nothing seems clear. One section of experts feel that it can be due to the sudden increase in pediatric hepatitis cases in the United States.

“Thus far, we have not been able to document an actual increase in the overall number of pediatric hepatitis cases,” Butler said.

“For example, we’re looking at specific emergency department visits for pediatric hepatitis, as well as liver transplant in children nationwide,” Butler added. “Currently, these numbers are stable.”

It was earlier this week when CDC identified as many as 180 pediatric hepatitis cases in as many as 36 states. These cases have been reported over the past 7 months.

While CDC continues to stress that most of the newly identified domestic cases are ‘retrospective’ which means that those cases were actually happened in October 2021.

This is what Butler noted, “Of the cases altogether, [only] 7% have been over the past two weeks. The vast majority going back are much earlier in the course of the investigation. If we look at graphing out the cases by the date of onset, it’s relatively flat.” he noted.

As per the investigative agency, there has been no causalities since the month of February until the one this week. Among all the cases identified, only 9% were severe that had to administer liver transplants.

In this regard, CDC stated that a number of pediatric hepatitis cases are likely to be associated with a common type of adenovirus known as ‘adenovirus type 41’ which is known to cause vomiting, fever and diarrhea among children which is sometimes accompanied by respiratory issues.

Genetic sequencing done by the researchers has shown that a number of adenovirus type 41 strains are involved in causing hepatitis cases.

The final verdict given by Butler to the rising number of hepatitis cases among kids is that a newly mutated strain of the virus can be responsible.


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