The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a cluster of children identified with acute hepatitis and adenovirus infection in Alabama, and similar reports have surfaced in the UK. Several have undergone liver transplantation, and none have died. All the children were previously healthy and an association between adenovirus and pediatric hepatitis is currently being investigated.
AASLD urges members to pay close attention to any pediatric patients exhibiting signs of hepatitis and inform the CDC immediately should the case meet the criteria, which include:
- Children under 10 years of age with elevated aspartate aminotransferase (AST) or alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (>500 U/L) with unknown etiology for their hepatitis since Oct. 1, 2021
Additionally, the CDC recommends that clinicians consider adenovirus testing in pediatric patients with hepatitis of unknown etiology.
Please email the CDC at firstname.lastname@example.org to report any cases that meet these criteria.
You can read the CDC health advisory in its entirety here.
Hepatitis is a condition of inflammation of the liver that has many different causes – including viral infections. Children with hepatitis can appear ill or just be more tired and sleepy than usual. There may also be associated abdominal pain. Additional symptoms include:
- Yellow eyes or skin
- Dark urine
- Pale or gray-colored stool
- Itchy skin
- Muscle and joint pain
- High temperature
- Loss of appetite
Parents should be encouraged to seek care or advice from their pediatrician or local emergency department if their child is jaundiced or too sick to arouse or eat.