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US CDC says adenovirus is a leading hypothesis for severe hepatitis in children – SABC News

Infection with adenovirus, a common childhood virus, is the leading hypothesis for recent cases of severe hepatitis of unknown origin in children that have resulted in at least six deaths, U.S. health officials said on Friday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it was continuing to investigate whether 180 cases diagnosed in 36 states and regions since last October showed an increase in the incidence of hepatitis in children or whether the current pattern was revealed by improved diagnosis.

In April, the agency issued a national warning that doctors could be wary of children with hepatitis, which can cause liver damage and lead to liver failure.

Dr. Jay Butler, deputy director of infectious disease at the CDC, said in a conference call that about half of the children diagnosed in recent months were also infected with the glandular virus, a virus that causes colds, but the agency is still investigating the exact cause of the illness.

“Evidence is accumulating that there is a role for adenovirus, especially adenovirus-41,” he said.

Butler said one theory was that pandemic mitigation measures could have limited exposure to the adrenal gland, leading to “catching” infections that reduced social distance and other efforts.

Hepatitis associated with this type of adenovirus has been almost exclusively associated with immunocompromised children, but many of the cases first reported to the CDC did not have such diseases.

The CDC is also investigating whether COVID infection may be playing a role, as well as other pathogens, drugs and risk factors.

Compared to the prevalence of pandemics, the agency said it had not seen an overall increase in the incidence of severe hepatitis in children, which is still rare with around 1,500 to 2,000 cases diagnosed in a normal year.

CDC officials said they continue to work with counterparts in Europe, particularly the United Kingdom, which has reported at least 175 cases of acute hepatitis in children.

US CDC says adenovirus is a leading hypothesis for severe hepatitis in children – SABC News

Source link US CDC says adenovirus is a leading hypothesis for severe hepatitis in children – SABC News

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