Mysterious cases of hepatitis in children spread in the US

– The mysterious liver disease that affects children in more than a dozen countries has now been seen in children in several US states and, for the first time, a US child may have died from the disease illness. Alabama, Illinois and North Carolina were the first states to report cases, Today reports. Now, at least four children in Wisconsin have also recently been affected by unexplained severe acute hepatitis; all four also tested positive for adenovirus, which health officials say may be linked to liver disease. One needed a liver transplant and the other died, Fox 6 reports. Symptoms of the mystery ailment include diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice, abdominal pain, dark urine and light-colored stools, CBS News reports. Minnesota also recently confirmed that it is investigating its own outbreak, with at least two confirmed cases, Fox 9 reports.

California is investigating seven cases, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Delaware, Tennessee and Louisiana have also reported cases, and Georgia and New York are investigating possible cases, NBC News reports. While adenovirus generally causes symptoms similar to the common cold, adenovirus 41, the type possibly associated with liver problems, can also cause gastrointestinal symptoms and is known to cause hepatitis in immunocompromised people. But this outbreak is different, as the children involved have generally been healthy. So far, around 200 cases have been reported in children aged one month to 16 years worldwide, 114 of them in the United Kingdom, the guardian reports. It is not related to the COVID vaccine, as many of the affected children were too young to be vaccinated against COVID. (Read more stories about hepatitis.)

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