Though new cases of the mysterious liver ailment that’s been preying on children for several months continue to emerge, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health agencies around the world are now presenting a clearer picture of what we’re dealing with. Whereas previous reports referred generally to a “liver ailment” that appeared hepatitis-like, the CDC and others are now specifying that it is, in fact, unexplained acute hepatitis. Unfortunately, there’s still no explanation as to how it’s targeting young patients. Also, curiously, while cases continue to mount there has been no corresponding increase in deaths or need for liver transplantation. Currently, per the CDC, 180 cases have been identified in 36 U.S. states (up from 109 cases 25 states in April). The death count remains at five, however, with 16 children requiring a liver transplant. The CDC has asked that providers report potential cases of pediatric hepatitis with an unknown cause and consider testing for adenovirus. Common symptoms include fever, fatigue, joint or muscle pain, loss of appetite or nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, or abdominal pain/tenderness, and yellowing of the skin and eyes.
Follow-Up: Details of Acute Pediatric Liver Ailment Emerge as Cases Continue to Mount