Advice From Conn. Doctors After CDC Health Advisory About Liver Damage in Kids

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On Thursday, parents learned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health advisory for doctors to be on the lookout for unusual cases of severe hepatitis in kids.

Already nine kids in Alabama and two in North Carolina reported this rare type of liver inflammation. Several needed a transplant and no deaths have been reported.

“Do we need to panic? No. When we start to see a cluster of cases, especially cases that typically are associated with an infectious disease, we pay attention and we just we try to do the tracing to get to the bottom of it,” said Dr. Christina Johns, PM Pediatrics Senior Medical Advisor.

Dozens of cases have also been found in Europe.

Viruses often cause liver inflammation. So far, the usual hepatitis ones have been ruled out and now the focus is on an adenovirus.

Doctors say you should look for big changes in your kids like vomiting, not behaving normally and even their eyes yellowing.

“There are symptoms that sort of grow with time and things that you notice that you probably can ask your primary doc just to say, ‘Hey, do you think this is OK?’ Or, ‘Do you think this is alright?’ And certainly, if the child is very ill, that emergency room will get things done quickly,” said Dr. Karan Emerick, Connecticut Children’s Liver Center Director.

Doctors say it’s unlikely parents can do something to prevent it from happening and other symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain.

As experts scramble to figure out what is going on, they’ve already considered a possible COVID-related link.

“I think this is probably the biggest, most important point of all at this point is that none of the cases so far identified have any connection at all to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, COVID-19 infection or the COVID vaccine,” said Johns.

We reached out to the state Department of Public Health to see if there were any reported cases in Connecticut. They were looking into it, though the CDC alert only mentions the cases in the South.

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