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2 Utah children treated for mysterious hepatitis symptoms; Cases included in global investigations

Are local cases connected to cases in other states and countries?

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Dr. Leisha Nolen at a press conference in January 2022. On Wednesday, Nolen announced that two Utah children under the age of 10 were being treated for hepatitis symptoms “of no known cause.”

Two Utah children under the age of 10 have been treated for hepatitis symptoms “of no known cause,” and their cases have been identified and included in the ongoing worldwide pediatric hepatitis survey, according to the Utah Department of Health.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that can lead to serious illness. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, light-colored stools, joint pain, and jaundice, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“There are many causes of hepatitis, but evaluation of these children has not found a clear source,” state epidemiologist Leisha Nolen said of the two Utah cases. “Although rare, children do get hepatitis and we don’t always know the cause.”

Both Utah children, who mysteriously contracted hepatitis symptoms, were hospitalized with serious illnesses but have since recovered, officials said.

Utah health officials are investigating whether the two pediatric cases are related to similar cases in other states and countries that may be related to infection with adenovirus type 41, a virus that “usually causes a mild cold or stomach upset in children,” the statement said Utah Department of Health.

The department works with local health care providers, public health departments, and the CDC.

Providers are encouraged to report any suspected cases to health authorities for further investigation. And parents are urged to contact their doctor if they are concerned about any symptoms their child may be experiencing.

According to the health department, simple measures to protect against hepatitis include frequent hand washing, covering up coughs and sneezes, staying at home if you are sick and keeping up to date with vaccinations.

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2022/05/25/utah-children-treated/ 2 Utah children treated for mysterious hepatitis symptoms; Cases included in global investigations

Joel McCord

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