The CDC is “asking physicians nationwide to be on the lookout for unusual cases of severe hepatitis in children,” NBC News reports.
— Dr. Doug Corrigan (@ScienceWDrDoug) April 21, 2022
The public health agency issued a health advisory on Thursday:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing this Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory to notify clinicians and public health authorities of a cluster of children identified with hepatitis and adenovirus infection. In November 2021, clinicians at a large children’s hospital in Alabama notified CDC of five pediatric patients with significant liver injury, including three with acute liver failure, who also tested positive for adenovirus. All children were previously healthy. None had COVID-19. Case-finding efforts at this hospital identified four additional pediatric patients with hepatitis and adenovirus infection for a total of nine patients admitted from October 2021 through February 2022; all five that were sequenced had adenovirus type 41 infection identified. In two patients, plasma samples were negative for adenovirus by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), but both patients were positive when retested using whole blood. Two patients required liver transplant; no patients died. A possible association between pediatric hepatitis and adenovirus infection is currently under investigation. Cases of pediatric hepatitis in children who tested negative for hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D, and E were reported earlier this month in the United Kingdom, including some with adenovirus infection .
This Health Advisory serves to notify US clinicians who may encounter pediatric patients with hepatitis of unknown etiology to consider adenovirus testing and to elicit reporting of such cases to state public health authorities and to CDC. Nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT, e.g. PCR) is preferred for adenovirus detection and may be performed on respiratory specimens, stool or rectal swabs, or blood.
Nine cases have been reported in Alabama, and an additional two have been identified in North Carolina, according to those states’ health departments.
As we noted last week, the United Kingdom is reportedly investigating at least 74 cases in which children came down with hepatitis, or liver inflammation.
From NBC News:
Hepatitis refers to inflammation of the liver, a condition that can result in diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Some of the children in Alabama developed jaundice, and blood tests showed signs of elevated liver enzymes.
Several children in that state became so ill that they needed a liver transplant. No deaths have been reported. All were ages 1 through 6 and were healthy previously, without any underlying conditions.
Bailey Pennington, a spokesperson for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, said two “school-aged” children in that state developed severe hepatitis and have since recovered.
“No cause has been found and no common exposures were identified,” Pennington said in a statement.
In Europe, cases have generally been seen in children ages 2 through 5.
However, cases have been reported in children as old as 13.
While health agencies will likely dismiss potential links between these ‘unusual cases of severe hepatitis in children’ and the COVID-19 injections, it warrants an investigation based on Pfizer’s documents alone.
Since hepatitis is a potential adverse event in Pfizer’s documents, reports should include the COVID-19 inoculation status of each patient.
Rare, severe liver damage reported in kids in U.S. and Europe
In Alabama, nine otherwise healthy children have developed severe hepatitis. Doctors have yet to pinpoint the cause…….
— Dr. James E. Olsson (@DrJamesOlsson) April 16, 2022
A previous study in the peer-reviewed Journal of Hepatology provided “conclusive evidence of vaccine-induced immune-mediated hepatitis with a rapid onset of liver injury after the first Moderna dose.”
Since Moderna and Pfizer each utilize mRNA technology, a potential link between these hepatitis cases and the COVID-19 injections warrants an investigation.