Adenovirus May Be Causing Mysterious Liver Disease In Children, Says US – What Is It And What Are Its Symptoms

Adenovirus infection may be linked to causing mysterious liver disease among children, the US health body Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

Updated: April 30, 2022 12:12 PM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Snigdha Choudhury

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The disease was largely being reported in young children among one month to 16 years old. (Photo: AP)

New Delhi: A recent outbreak of unexplained hepatitis cases among children have caused serious liver issues of the affected kids as parents continue to be worried over the mysterious illness. Even as the world has urged parents or guardians to closely observe their kids if they report any of the symptoms of the mysterious liver disease, the US health body CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) said adenovirus infection may be linked to causing the mysterious illness among children. The disease was largely being reported in young children among one month to 16 years old.

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So far, at least 169 cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin were reported among children across 12 countries. Out of the 169 cases, one children had died from the mystery strain of severe hepatitis. US had reported nine cases of children being affected with the mysterious liver disease. “Adenovirus was detected in whole blood specimens from all patients by real-time PCR testing,” the CDC said in its report.

What is Adenovirus

Adenoviruses are common viruses that cause a range of illness. They can cause cold-like symptoms, fever, sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, diarrhea, and pink eye (conjunctivitis). You can get an adenovirus infection at any age. Adenoviruses can cause mild to severe illness, though serious illness is less common. People with weakened immune systems, or existing respiratory or cardiac disease, are at higher risk of developing severe illness from an adenovirus infection.

“Adenovirus is recognised as a cause of hepatitis among immunocompromised children. It might be an underrecognized contributor to liver injury among healthy children; however, the magnitude of this relationship remains under investigation,” the CDC said. Adenoviruses usually spread from infected people to others through close personal contact such as touching or shaking hands, the air by coughing and sneezing, touching objects or surfaces with adenoviruses on them then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

Symptoms of Adenovirus infection

  • Common cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Acute bronchitis (inflammation of the airways of the lungs, sometimes called a “chest cold”)
  • Pneumonia (infection of the lungs)
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  • Inflammation of the stomach or intestines
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain

How to protect your kids and yourself from Adenovirus infection

  • Wash your and your kids’ hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your upper sleeve, not your hands
  • Avoid sharing cups and eating utensils with others

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Published Date: April 30, 2022 10:30 AM IST

Updated Date: April 30, 2022 12:12 PM IST