Mysterious hepatitis outbreaks worldwide
After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a national health alert regarding a mysterious cluster of severe hepatitis in pediatric patients in Alabama, at least ten other states are reporting similar cases that are now part of a larger international outbreak, according to an ABC7 Chicago report. (source)
The CDC reported that the first cases in Alabama had no significant medical problems, and ranged from children ages two to five, with five of the nine patients developing adenovirus type 41, the virus known to cause the common cold.
But the agency noted that the liver biopsies of the six patients who showed varying degrees of hepatitis did not reveal any evidence of adenovirus on pathology, according to a recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Researchers are investigating a possible link with adenovirus, but of the 50 known types of adenoviruses, type 41 usually only causes respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms, not severe hepatitis, so studies are also investigating other viruses, environmental toxins and medications that can cause severe hepatitis in children, according to the news outlet. (source)
Minnesota is one of the last states to report several cases, with M Health Fairview reporting two cases to the Minnesota Department of Health involving a baby and a 2-year-old, one who was treated several months ago, while the other required a liver transplant. needed.
“Why this child had such severe acute hepatitis is unknown,” says dr. Heli Bhatt, pediatric gastroenterologist and transplant hepatologist at M Health Fairview.
“It was appropriate enough for me to notify the Minnesota Department of Health and they're going into the matter further to investigate ." (source)
Wisconsin reported the first death possibly related to the outbreak last week, according to a recent publication. (source)
Other states include: Delaware and Louisiana, with one reporting each, North Carolina with two, three in Illinois, six in Tennessee and a "handful" in New York and Georgia, according to the New York Post (source).
California is also investigating seven cases, the first of which was reported last October, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. (source)
“While only a few cases of this rare disease have been reported, we urge parents and guardians to use common sense common sense measures to prevent infection and illness, such as good hand hygiene, coughing and sneezing, and keeping children home from school or childcare while sick to be ." (source)
The World Health Organization has reported at least 169 cases in 12 countries, including at least one death and 17 others requiring a liver transplant. The majority of cases are in the UK, according to the release from April 23 . (source)
“A potentially important clue that has not yet been reported is the pathology of the liver [of patients in Europe]. The 17 cases of liver transplantation in different countries mean that a detailed analysis of the microscopic histopathology of the liver in these cases is available,” said Dr. Daniel R. Lucey, clinical professor of medicine at Dartmouth Geisel Medical School and member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America Global Health Committee. (source)
Adenovirus was detected in 74 of these cases worldwide, but the so-called SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was identified in 20 cases, excluding the common viruses that usually cause acute viral hepatitis. (source)
“A lot is unknown at the moment,” said Bhatt.
“We blame all this on adenovirus, and yes, many cases have this adenovirus, but whether it was just that child who had adenovirus and had this, is it coincidence or proven? We do not know ."