NY among 10 states reporting mystery childhood hepatitis cases


At least 10 states — including New York — have reported pediatric hepatitis cases as part of a mysterious international outbreak, officials said.

Minnesota has emerged as the latest state to report several severe cases of liver inflammation in children, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

State health agencies in Georgia and New York have reported they were looking into “a handful” of childhood hepatitis cases, NBC News reported.

Nine cases were also reported in Alabama, two in North Carolina, one each in Delaware and Louisiana, three in Illinois, four in Wisconsin, six in Tennessee and at least two in Minnesota.

At least three young patients have required liver transplants, and one child in Wisconsin died.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced a week ago that a dozen countries have reported 169 cases of acute hepatitis among children, 114 of them in the UK.

A nurse loads a syringe with a vaccine against hepatitis at a free immunization clinic for students before the start of the school year,  in Lynwood, California August, 27, 2013.  Nurses are immunizing children in preparation for the first day of public school on September 3. The clinic offers the mandatory vaccinations for school children against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, hepatitis B,  MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and chickenpox as well as some optional ones.  At least 10 states — including New York — have reported pediatric hepatitis cases.ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Patients ranged from 1 month to 16 years old, and more common forms of liver disease — hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C — were ruled out, the health organization said.

Commons symptoms of the disease include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, light-colored stools, joint pain and jaundice.

The illness is being called hepatitis of unknown origin. The cases have no known connection, although a link with adenovirus that can cause colds is being investigated.

man reads an information sheet at a hepatitis A vaccination event sponsored by the Orange County, Florida Health Department in response to the hepatitis A outbreak in the State of Florida and the August 1, 2019 Patients ranged from 1 month to 16 years old.Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

In Minnesota, M Health Fairview reported two cases to the state Department of Health, which involve an infant and a 2-year-old. One of the patients was treated several months ago, which included a liver transplant, hospital officials said.

“Why this kid had such severe acute hepatitis is unknown,” said Dr. Heli Bhatt, M Health Fairview pediatric gastroenterologist and transplant hepatologist. “It was kind of fitting enough for me to let Minnesota Department of Health know and they are going to investigate the case further.”

The other patient is in the hospital and is on the transplant list, Bhatt told KSTP-TV.

Hepatitis Stock ImageAt least three young patients have required liver transplants, and one child in Wisconsin died.Getty Images/Science Photo Library

“I pray for that kid to turn around, which they might, but some of those indicators do say that it is severe and so we have evaluated this patient for transplant,” she said.

The CDC sent out an alert to physicians nationwide a week ago, encouraging them to test children with severe liver illness for the adenovirus.

With Post wires

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