Mysterious hepatitis breakout among children spreads across half of the U.S.
Across 25 states, including Indiana and Michigan, more than 100 severe and unexplained case of hepatitis have been recorded among children over the past month.
The outbreak has led to five deaths so far with the majority of children affected needing to be hospitalized.
Liver failure, while rare in children, has also occurred, with 14% of those affected needing organ transplants.
Hepatitis can occur due to a number of different factors such as infections, drugs, toxins, auto-immune diseases and in some cases, COVID-19.
Experts remain unsure of the cause of the spread, but believe that the initial grouping of cases began in Alabama.
Dr. Mike Leonis, a Pediatric Hepatologist at the Cleveland Clinic claims that the outbreak is in its early stages.
“I don’t really know what to make of this, except that we’re in the very early stage of understanding whether or not this is a problem,” said Leonis.
Any swelling of the liver can be classified under the general term of hepatitis.
Symptoms may mimic those of a stomach flu, and include loss of appetite, jaundice (the yellowing of the skin), fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain.