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Wisconsin reports that the first death in the United States may be linked to a confusing outbreak of hepatitis in children

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The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) on Wednesday issued a health warning regarding the first pediatric death in the United States, possibly linked to the mysterious pediatric hepatitis outbreak and adenovirus, according to a recent announcement.

“Since being notified of this adenovirus-associated hepatitis cluster, DHS is now investigating at least four similar cases among children in Wisconsin. This includes two children who had severe outcomes, one liver transplant and one death. ”

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The statement urges U.S. clinicians to consider testing for adenovirus in pediatric patients with hepatitis of unknown etiology and report these cases to their public health laboratories and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, on Saturday, March 14, 2020.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, on Saturday, March 14, 2020.
(Elijah Nouvelage / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The agency first issued an official health warning last week regarding a cluster of 9 previously healthy pediatric cases of liver disease, including three with liver failure and two requiring a liver transplant, which was admitted to a major children’s hospital in Alabama between October 2021 and February 2022. Five out of the nine samples tested positive for adenovirus type 41 infection.

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Two “school-age” children in North Carolina who developed severe hepatitis have recovered, said Bailey Pennington, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Human. Services.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is investigating three suspected cases of hepatitis under the age of 10, possibly linked to adenovirus, including two in the Chicago suburbs where one required a liver transplant.

This photo illustration shows a disposable syringe with needle, HEPATITIS B written on a white board behind.

This photo illustration shows a disposable syringe with needle, HEPATITIS B written on a white board behind.
(Frank Bienewald / LightRocket via Getty Images)

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported 169 cases of acute hepatitis of unknown etiology, ranging from 1 month to 16 years old, with approximately 10% requiring liver transplantation at least one death, according to an April 23 report.

The organization noted that the majority of these cases so far are in the United Kingdom, where the country “… has recently observed a significant increase in adenovirus infections in society (especially detected in fecal samples in children) after low levels of circulation in the past. and COVID-19 pandemic. ”

A child in a hospital bed holds their parents' hand.

A child in a hospital bed holds their parents’ hand.
(iStock)

The WHO said 74 cases have been tested positive for adenovirus in the outbreak, which has now reached 12 countries worldwide. Since their report, Japan and Canada are now investigating similar cases, according to USA Today.

The organization also noted that “the vast majority” of reported cases did not receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

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“Although adenovirus is currently one hypothesis as the underlying cause, it does not fully explain the severity of the clinical picture. Infection with adenovirus type 41, the type of adenovirus involved, has not previously been associated with such a clinical presentation,” WHO . said.

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