CDC alert: Mystery hepatitis causing liver damage in children

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued a health alert and advisory, asking doctors to be aware after several previously healthy children suffered liver failure.

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In its advisory, the CDC cites a cluster of nine children in Alabama who were previously healthy, but were then diagnosed with significant injuries, including three cases of “acute liver failure.” All of the patients survived, though two required a liver transplant.

The CDC reported that each of the children had hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that can be caused by viral infections, toxins, medications and alcohol use.

The first cases of the mystery liver disease were identified in Britain, where last week officials reported 74 cases have been seen in children since January, The Associated Press reported.

The World Health Organization confirmed last week that it was aware of the situation, saying that laboratory testing had ruled out hepatitis types A, B, C and E, which are typically blamed for such illnesses, as we previously reported.

While the first cases were identified in Britain, there have now been confirmed clusters of cases in Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands, NBC News reported.

In its alert, the CDC is asking doctors to consider testing any previously healthy patients who develop hepatitis, and is asking for doctors to alert the agency to any cases they find.

Public health officials have ruled out any link to COVID-19 vaccines, saying that none of the affected children had been vaccinated, the AP reported.

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