SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The CDC is investigating mysterious cases of hepatitis in young children. Hepatitis causes inflammation of the liver and can cause liver failure.
So far, the CDC says the cause of these hepatitis cases is unknown, however, doctors have found a possible association with another virus.
“As of May 5th, the CDC was investigating 109 cases of hepatitis in the United States including cases in South Dakota, and of those cases, about half of them were testing positive for adenovirus,” said Dr. Tonya Adamiak, Pediatric Gastroenterologist at Sanford Children’s Hospital.
The CDC has yet to confirm if this virus is the cause. Dr. Tonya Adamiak at Sanford’s Children’s Hospital spoke with us about the symptoms to watch for.
“With Hepatitis, kids can present initially with fevers, fatigues, decreased appetites, nausea, vomiting, adnominal pain, and then specifically with hepatitis as well too, we might start seeing jaundice which is the yellowing of the skin and eyes,” Adamiak said.
14 of these cases required liver transplants.
“It’s concerning to me, anything that can affect your internal organs in the long run, I think is quite concerning,” said Amy Eisenbeisz, Sioux Falls.
Mothers Amy Eisenbeisz and Sandi Fischer plan to stay vigilant and watch for symptoms.
“Watching symptoms that we can see and not rely on the kids to tell us as a prevention or to get on top of it before it gets severe where they do need to be hospitalized,” said Sandi Fischer, Sioux Falls.
Adamiak says cases are uncommon at the moment, but there are precautions your child can take.
“General recommendations like washing your hands well, covering your coughs, sneezes, wearing a mask, trying to stay away from people that are sick,” Adamiak said.
The South Dakota Department of Health is investigating a case in Brown County.