Mysterious Hepatitis Cases in Kids Spark Nationwide Alert From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

hepatitis kids
Children are falling ill with severe hepatitis, health officials said.Getty/Stock

The CDC said two states had reported mysterious cases of hepatitis in kids.

Doctors across the country have been warned to look for mysterious and severe cases of hepatitis that are affecting young children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in alert issued Thursday.

Federal health officials and the Alabama Department of Public Health are investigating nine cases of hepatitis in children ranging in age from 1 to 6. The were all hospitalized October 2021 and February 2022 with serious liver damage, health authorities said.

Two required liver transplants and all had previously been healthy. No deaths have been reported, but the CDC asked doctors and public health officials to report suspected cases.

Earlier in the week,  European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said dozens of cases had been reported in Britain, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that can cause diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting and nausea. Some of the Alabama children developed jaundice and elevated liver enzymes.

Bailey Pennington of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said two children in that state had developed severe hepatitis and have recovered.

"No cause has been found and no common exposures were identified," Pennington said in a statement.

The cases are not related to COVID-19, health officials said.

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