CDC has posted updated data by state on this page: https://www.cdc.gov/ncird/investigation/hepatitis-unknown-cause/updates.html

 

You may have seen recent reports about children being diagnosed with hepatitis (or inflammation of the liver) without there being a known cause. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently including more than 100 children in their investigation, meaning that over the last seven months more than 100 children have been diagnosed with hepatitis without there being a known cause. These children were from 25 different states. One child from Rhode Island is now part of CDC’s investigation. This child from Rhode Island who was diagnosed with hepatitis was asymptomatic, and was not hospitalized.

 

CDC is still working to learn more about these cases. While a virus called adenovirus has been detected in some of these children, CDC is still working to understand the cause of these cases of hepatitis. (Adenoviruses are a group of common viruses that typically cause respiratory illnesses, such as a common cold, croup, bronchitis, or pneumonia.) Common causes of viral hepatitis, such as infection with hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E viruses, were considered, but evidence for these infections were not found in any of the patients so far. CDC is monitoring the situation closely to understand the possible cause of these illnesses and to identify potential efforts to prevent or mitigate them. CDC has more information online about their investigation.

 

While hepatitis is extremely rare among children, it is still important for families to take general prevention measures. Children should be up to date on all their vaccinations. Additionally, everyone should:

 

  • Wash their hands often,
  • stay home when sick,
  • avoid other people who are sick,
  • covering coughs and sneezes, and
  • avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth.

 

Joseph Wendelken

Public Information Officer

Rhode Island Department of Health

 

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