Five children have died in the US amid a global outbreak of hepatitis

Hepatitis has killed five children in the US, health officials said Friday (

Hepatitis has killed five children in the US, health officials said on Friday (Image: Getty Images)

Unexplained hepatitis has killed five children in the US as over 100 mysterious pediatric cases have been diagnosed nationwide.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday it is investigating the 109 cases of severe hepatitis found in children in 24 states and Puerto Rico. The cases under investigation date back to October last year.

Several of the children required liver transplants and five died. Almost all of the children, around 90%, had to be hospitalized while confronting the disease.

Hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver, can be caused by a variety of things, but in most cases it’s caused by viruses. Most of the infected children were around two years old.

dr Jay Butler, the CDC’s associate director of infectious diseases, said the investigation into the infections is ongoing and the federal agency is working with state health officials in its efforts.

“We cast a wide net to expand our understanding,” Butler said during a news conference on Friday.

Nearly 300 cases of hepatitis have now been identified in 20 countries, although scientists have been baffled as to the causes of the disease, since the common hepatitis A, B, C, D and E viruses are not found in laboratory test results were found.

“Investigators here and around the world are working hard to determine the cause,” Butler added.

Adenoviruses, which can cause colds, have been detected in more than 50% of cases. Health authorities have not yet determined whether this is the cause of these hepatitis cases.

Many of the recent cases have been associated with drastic symptoms, such as vomiting, dark urine, and jaundice, or yellowing of the eyes and skin.

Last month, the CDC alerted doctors across the US to nine unusual cases of hepatitis found in children living in Alabama. The agency urged doctors to report similar cases. The numbers shared on Friday, which have now surpassed 100 and include five deaths, follow her call for health officials to be on the lookout for such cases.

This is breaking news, check back for updates… Five children have died in the US amid a global outbreak of hepatitis

Justin Scacco

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