According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least five children have died in the United States as a result of mysterious pediatric hepatitis infections.
Dr. Jay Butler, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s deputy director for infectious diseases, said 109 cases have been documented in 24 states and Puerto Rico. Cases began to emerge in October, according to the FBI.
The number of verified cases has increased dramatically in the last two weeks, from just 11 two weeks ago to a total of 42 this week. Those who work in the medical field are being urged to keep a watch out for rare occurrences of liver inflammation in youngsters who do not appear to be suffering from any other underlying ailment.
According to Butler, a liver transplant was necessary for 14 percent of the 109 instances currently under investigation. All of the participants had previously been in good health and were not suffering from any medical conditions.
There have been at least 228 cases confirmed by the World Health Organization in 20 countries, according to the organization. The majority of those affected are children under the age of five, but there have been cases of persons as old as sixteen who have been impacted.
Health professionals from all over the world have been baffled by the cases that have been reported so far.
The World Health Organization’s Dr. Philippa Easterbrook, an infectious disease physician, indicated during a media briefing on Thursday that there is no link between the disease and a specific geographic area, common exposure to specific foods or animals, travel, or pollutants. The investigation is looking into both infectious and noninfectious causes.
Adenovirus is the most likely cause of the infection.
In the United States, an adenovirus infection has been discovered in almost half of the cases that have been studied. According to the United Kingdom Health Security Agency, which is now investigating the 163 suspected cases in the country, adenovirus was found in an additional 91 of the 163 suspected cases in the country.
According to Easterbrook, a rise in the dispersion of adenoviruses in the community has been observed in the United Kingdom as well.
It is not clear whether or whether the surge has occurred in the United States as a result of this. Health care practitioners do not routinely report adenovirus cases to the appropriate health authorities. Additionally, hepatitis A has been identified as a likely source of the outbreak, in addition to the previously listed diseases.
In Butler’s opinion, the number of adenovirus infections has not increased, “however we are aware that there may be a slight delay in reporting.” “We’re looking at approaches that we might use to increase our surveillance” to better track adenovirus activity in the United States, according to the researchers.