Feds Investigating 180 Cases Of Deadly Illness

(JustPatriots.com)- On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that it had found 180 pediatric cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin over the last seven months. That is 71 more cases than the last reported numbers from May 5.

However, the CDC said in a statement that many of the new cases reported date back to October 2021 and since February, there have been no reported deaths linked to this hepatitis. Only 9 percent of the cases reported are children requiring liver transplants. The CDC reported on May 5 that 15 percent of children had required liver transplants.

Dr. Tina Tan, an infectious disease doctor with Chicago’s Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, said these instances of hepatitis are unusual because they are happening to normal, healthy children without an underlying condition. In addition to not knowing the cause of the outbreak, Dr. Tan said what makes them so frightening is that the children are developing very severe cases.

According to the World Health Organization, worldwide, there have been hundreds of other pediatric hepatitis cases.

Among the cases found in the United States, about half of those reported have contracted some form of adenovirus. According to the CDC, this is a strong indicator of what could be driving the current cases.

The CDC said that severe hepatitis in children remains rare. However, parents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the symptoms of hepatitis, paying particular attention to signs of jaundice, which is a yellowing of the child’s skin or eyes.

Currently, the CDC is conducting lab testing to look more closely at the adenovirus genome as well as other possible pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19.

During a press briefing earlier this month, Dr. Jay Butler, the CDC’s deputy director of infectious diseases dismissed the online speculation that the COVID vaccine was behind the spike in hepatitis among children, saying the vaccines are “not the cause of these illnesses.”

On Thursday, the CDC hosted a Community Outreach and Clinician Activity call to provide updates to key medical groups and give clinicians an opportunity to ask questions. The agency is also providing reporting and laboratory guidance for doctors who may find this hepatitis of unknown origin in their patients.