MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) – A puzzling outbreak of sudden liver disease in children has been confirmed in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed that they are investigating several cases of hepatitis in children reported by hospital systems. M Health Fairview confirmed that they have reported at least two cases of hepatitis of unknown origin.
The mysterious, serious and acute illness has spread across the world, with more than 100 confirmed cases worldwide so far. Health officials say it’s too early to tell what’s behind it all.
Childhood death from hepatitis in Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is investigating at least four cases of adenovirus-associated hepatitis among children in the state. This includes two children who had serious outcomes, a liver transplant, and one death.
As a result, DHS issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory on Friday, April 29, to notify physicians and public health authorities of the recent increase in hepatitis cases. acute and adenovirus infection in children.
Sudden liver disease in children: everything we know
Source: Associated Press
THE BASICS: Previously healthy children suddenly develop hepatitis, or inflammation of the liver, often caused by viruses. Jaundice, diarrhea and abdominal pain are among the reported symptoms. Children aged 1 month to 16 years have been affected. Most cases have occurred in Europe. The first cases in the UK were recorded in January. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a nationwide health alert last week that the first US cases were identified in October in Alabama.
THE ILLNESS: Hepatitis is usually caused by one of several contagious hepatitis viruses that have not been found in affected children. Sometimes the disease is mild and does not require specific treatment. But severe cases require hospitalization and can lead to liver failure.
THE CAUSE: Authorities aren’t sure what’s causing the outbreak. Nine children in the Alabama group tested positive for adenovirus. Some types of the virus can cause colds, but authorities are also looking for a version that can cause digestive problems. Whether that virus is a cause or is somehow contributing to the outbreak is unknown.
LOCATIONS: Cases have been reported in at least a dozen countries, including Denmark, England, France, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Spain, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, cases have also been reported in Illinois and North Carolina.
The CDC says all doctors should watch for symptoms and report any suspected cases of what’s called hepatitis of unknown origin.