Colorado reports cases of severe liver disease in children

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. health officials are investigating more than 100 possible cases of a mysterious and serious liver disease in children, including five dead.

About two dozen states reported suspicious cases after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for doctors to be on the lookout for surprising cases of hepatitis. Cases date back to late October in children under 10 years of age. So far, only nine cases have been confirmed in Alabama.

Colorado reported four cases of pediatric hepatitis at 5 p.m. Friday, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

“All four meet the broad criteria of the CDC’s call for potential cases, which includes all children 10 years of age or younger with hepatitis of unknown cause,” CDPHE said in a statement. “The first case, which CDPHE reported to the CDC last month, dates back to December 2021. The patient tested negative for adenovirus at that time and has since recovered. New cases reported today to the CDC, two out of three were hospitalized, one of which tested positive for adenovirus, none of which required a liver transplant, and none died, all of which have recovered or are improving. “Cases were in different parts of Colorado. We can’t post any more information about these cases at this time.”

“What is causing the disease is unclear”

“We are launching a broad network to expand our understanding,” Dr. Jay Butler of the CDC.

What is causing the disease is unclear. Adenovirus was detected in half of the children, “but we don’t know if it’s the cause,” he said.

There are dozens of adenoviruses, many of which are associated with cold-like symptoms, fever, sore throat, and pink eyes. But some versions can trigger other problems, including inflammation in the stomach and intestines. Officials are exploring a link to a particular version that is typically associated with intestinal inflammation.

This week, World Health Organization officials said they had reports of nearly 300 probable cases in 20 countries.

In the United States, 94% of children were hospitalized and eight received liver transplants.

“It’s still a very rare fact,” Butler said. “Most of these cases have been recovered and fully recovered.”

The mystery dates back to November, when Alabama health officials began investigating the first of nine cases of severe hepatitis in children in that state. None tested positive for viruses that usually cause hepatitis. However, the tests were positive for adenovirus.

Butler said none of the Alabama children were vaccinated against COVID-19. This has been ruled out as a possible cause, “and we hope this information will help clarify some of the speculation circulating online.”

Symptoms of hepatitis, or inflammation of the liver, include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, light-colored stools, joint pain, and jaundice.

In addition to Alabama, the states that report suspicious cases: California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin. Puerto Rico also reported at least one case.

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