Rise in severe cases of hepatitis among children

CAIRO, Ill. (KBSI) – Severe cases of hepatitis in children have been seen across the country. Illinois is one of 24 states across the country that has seen a rise in severe cases of hepatitis among children. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there have been a total of 109 cases of severe hepatitis in children. That number includes five deaths.  

Little is known of the origin of these cases but Shawnna Rhine with, Southern Seven Health Department says these children are also testing positive for something else. 

“Presenting also positive cases of adenovirus 41, which is an airborne respiratory virus,” said Rhine.  

Rhine says it’s not unusual for children who are immunocompromised to contract this particular variant of adenovirus and also test positive for hepatitis.  

 It is, however, very unusual for children who are otherwise healthy, said Rhine. 

It’s understandable that parents may be worried right now. 

Rhine says many viruses share the same symptoms, but there are specific things you can look for. 

  • Fever fatigue  
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Abdominal pain  
  • Vomiting  
  • Dark urine or light-colored stools  
  • Joint pain and jaundice  

 If you start seeing those symptoms in particular you do want to make sure that you contact your doctor. 

The best thing to do is to continue to follow good hygiene practices like those that prevent COVID-19. 

“Make sure that your children are keeping their hands clean and washing your hands for 20 seconds,” said Rhine “Make sure that you know they’re keeping their distance as much as possible.” 

For more information and updates on these cases, you can visit CDC.gov. If you or your child needs a hepatitis vaccine visit southern7.org.  

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