DCHD investigating pediatric Hepatitis cases of unknown origin

(Douglas County, NE) -- Two cases of pediatric hepatitis are reported in Douglas County.

The Douglas County Health Department says it is investigating at least two cases of pediatric hepatitis of unknown origin, possibly associated with adenovirus. DCHD says the cases are in children under the age of ten. Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. Adenovirus is spread through respiratory droplets and contact with contaminated surfaces. It is a common virus that causes a range of illness, including common colds, diarrhea, and pink eye.

“So far, we are not sure if these hepatitis cases came from an adenovirus infection or another source that is still to be identified,” Health Director Dr. Lindsay Huse said. “We are asking providers to let the Health Department know if they are treating a patient less than ten years old with a case of hepatitis from an unknown cause. We know that this may be concerning to parents, but this is still a rare illness.”

The CDC last month released a Health Alert Network (HAN) Advisory that raised awareness of this hepatitis concern and described a cluster of cases. Nine Nebraska cases have been identified since early November of 2021 in six health department jurisdictions. The CDC has more information about symptoms of hepatitis and adenovirus in April’s HAN Advisory.

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