Wisconsin is the fourth state to announce that it is investigating cases of liver inflammation, or hepatitis, that don’t appear to be caused by any of the usual suspects, such as hepatitis A, B, C or D.
Alabama has reported nine cases in its cluster, including two children who needed liver transplants. Illinois has reported three cases, including one that required a liver transplant, and North Carolina says it has two cases that meet that definition.
The majority of cases, 114, have been reported in the UK. There have been 13 cases in Spain, 12 in Israel, six in Denmark, fewer than five in Ireland, four in the Netherlands, four in Italy, two in Norway, two in France, one in Romania and one in Belgium, according to the WHO.
Adenoviruses form a large family of viruses that can be transmitted from person to person and cause a variety of illnesses, including colds, conjunctivitis, and gastroenteritis. They are rarely reported as a cause of severe hepatitis in healthy people.
But these hepatitis cases come as the spread of adenovirus has intensified in recent months, along with other common viruses that have increased with the end of Covid-19 prevention measures and behaviors that kept most at bay. of the germs.
After falling sharply during the pandemic, documented adenovirus cases have returned and are now at higher levels than the UK saw before Covid-19.
Although research is swirling around the adenovirus, it is not yet clear how it might cause inflammation of the liver. Experts say the virus may just be a factor leading to these cases when it occurs alongside something else.
CNN’s Michael Nedelman contributed to this report.