MN Health Officials Want Parents to Watch For Hepatitis Symptoms
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - State health officials are asking parents to be extra vigilant in looking for signs of liver inflammation in their children.
The advisory was prompted by a cluster of hepatitis cases of unknown origin among children in multiple states and countries. The Minnesota Department of Health is currently investigating three children in Minnesota under the age of three who have had liver inflammation. Some medical experts believe there may be an association with a type of virus called adenovirus type 41, and health officials say watching for signs of hepatitis is especially important after either upper respiratory or stomach-intestinal illnesses.
“If your child recently had vomiting and diarrhea or symptoms of a common cold and then develops yellowing of the eyes and skin, it is important to have your child evaluated by a health care provider right away,” said Minnesota State Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield. “Other symptoms can include abdominal pain, fatigue, dark urine and clay-colored stools. Getting medical care quickly can help diagnose and treat the condition as needed.”
One of the stricken children in Minnesota required a liver transplant and has recovered. The two other patients also recovered without requiring a transplant. The Minnesota Department of Health its epidemiologists are aware of at least two other possible cases involving out-of-state residents being treated in Minnesota hospitals.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified at least 109 children in 25 states who are considered part of the cluster of cases. Worldwide, there have been at least 228 probable cases in 20 countries. Officials note some of the reported illnesses in the US date back as far as last fall and have all involved children under the age of 10.
Officials say more information about the ongoing national investigation can be found on the CDC website at CDC Alerts Providers to Hepatitis Cases of Unknown Origin.
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