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2 Utah children treated for hepatitis; no known cause

Posted at 8:32 AM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 10:53:36-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Two Utah children were treated for hepatitis with no known cause for the disease, the Utah Department of Health reported Wednesday.

The children, who are both younger than 10 years old, were identified as part of a pediatric hepatitis investigation after hundreds of children have been infected with the disease around the world.

USA Today reports six children have died from hepatitis, with 180 young patients currently across 36 states.

According to health officials, the Utah children were hospitalized with the liver illness, but have since recovered. They say the cause is still unknown, but it could be related to an infection "with adenovirus type 41, a virus that usually causes mild colds or stomach illnesses in children," a statement said.

“There are many causes of hepatitis, but evaluation of these children did not find a clear source. While rare, children do get hepatitis and we don’t always know the cause,” said state epidemiologist Leisha Nolen. “We are working with local healthcare providers, public health departments, and CDC to understand if these children became sick because of the same factors causing increased hepatitis in children across many parts of the world. We encourage providers to report any suspect cases to public health for further investigation.”

Symptoms of hepatitis or liver inflammation include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Light-colored stools
  • Joint pain
  • Yellowing of the skin

Parents are asked to contact a pediatrician if their children exhibit hepatitis symptoms.