Health Officials Investigating 2 Cases Of Pediatric Hepatitis in MA

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BOSTON (WBZNewsRadio) - The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is investigating two cases of pediatric hepatitis in Massachusetts, as health officials around the globe research the alarming and unexplained outbreak.

DPH says both patients have tested negative for adenovirus infection, and isn't releasing any other details about the cases to respect the privacy of the pediatric patients.

Last week, the CDC said it was investigating more than 100 cases of severe hepatitis in American children. Federal health officials asked health departments around the country to notify them about hepatitis cases in children under ten going back to October which had elevated liver function tests and no known cause for the diagnosis.

The CDC says 90% of the children were hospitalized and 14% needed liver transplants. The cases have now been confirmed in at least 25 states, and 5 children have died. The World Health Organization is also closely monitoring the situation and has identified cases in at least 11 countries.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver associated with viral infections. It's not uncommon in children, but typically isn't as severe as in these new cases. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, light-colored stools and jaundice.

The CDC says more than half of the confirmed pediatric hepatitis cases had an adenovirus infection as well. Adenovirus is common, and typically comes with mild cold or flu-like symptoms or stomach problems. Health experts are working to determine whether or not adenovirus is behind the severe cases.

Health officials say the pediatric cases have no link to the COVID-19 vaccine, as most of the children involved are too young to receive a shot.

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) reports

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