Hepatitis, mysterious illness among kids in US | Georgia cases


It is unknown exactly how many suspect cases there have been in Georgia.

ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Public Health confirmed Tuesday that there are “several” suspect cases of hepatitis among children in the state. 

An alarming outbreak of sudden liver disease in children has health authorities in Europe and the U.S. racing to find answers. As of last week, around 200 confirmed cases have been reported. However, it is unknown how many of the suspect cases were reported in Georgia and the state said they are all “under investigation.”

According to the Associated Press, the illnesses have no known connection, although a possible link with a virus that can cause colds is being investigated. At least one child died and several others have required liver transplants.

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The AP reported that previously healthy children are suddenly developing hepatitis, or liver inflammation often caused by viruses. Jaundice, diarrhea and abdominal pain are among reported symptoms. Children aged 1 month to 16 years have been affected.

Most cases have occurred in Europe. The first U.K. cases were recorded in January. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a nationwide health alert last week that the first U.S. cases were identified in October in Alabama.

In the United States, cases have also occurred in Illinois and North Carolina.

The CDC said all physicians should be on the lookout for symptoms and report any suspected case of what’s called hepatitis of unknown origin.

The ages of the children in Georgia — and the exact locations — was not made available by the state. 

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