An outbreak of unexplained cases of hepatitis in otherwise healthy children that alerted health professionals last year may have been caused by a combination of common viruses.
Adenoviruses, which typically cause the common cold, bronchitis, and conjunctivitis, have previously been seen in children who tested positive for hepatitis. A trio of recent studies adds to the evidence that childhood conditions may be a factor in rare, but occasionally fatal conditions.
In two studies conducted in the United Kingdom and also published in Nature, adenovirus was found to be present in a significant number of cases of hepatitis in children.
Children with hepatitis were found to have multiple viral infections in all three studies, and 75% of the children in the United States study had three or more viral infections.
According to Chiu, “that’s what led us to speculate that the outbreak’s timing was probably related to the really unusual situations we were going through with COVID-19-related school and daycare closures and social restrictions.” It might have been an unseen side-effect of what we have encountered during the last a few years of the pandemic.”
Most cases of hepatitis are brought on by viruses that affect the liver. Federal officials say that hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E are all precursors to symptoms that can affect different people.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a nationwide alert the previous year, urging health professionals to be aware of the rising number of cases of hepatitis and to think about testing children for adenoviruses.
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