DENVER (KDVR) – Public health officials in Colorado are investigating mysterious cases of hepatitis.
Cases in five children in the state have been submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for further review. These cases were submitted as similar reports came in from elsewhere in the United States and abroad.
There are different types of hepatitis and the disease is more common in adults. Children can also suffer from inflammation of the liver. Doctors, though, are concerned over hepatitis developing in previously healthy children.
“There’s such a potpourri of causes,” said Dr. Reginald Washington, chief medical officer at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. “It’s difficult to predict how one is going to do with an individual case of hepatitis. You can’t assume, as a physician, you know the cause. You have to go through the whole list. Is it a viral infection? Is it a bacterial infection? Is it caused by toxins? Is it caused by medications?”
Public health investigators believe that hepatitis identified in healthy children under the age of 10 might be linked to a gastrointestinal-specific adenovirus.
“That’s a virus that circulates commonly, but in the past, hasn’t been known to cause hepatitis, or liver problems, in healthy children,” CDPHE epidemiologist Dr. Alexis Burakoff said.
According to Colorado health officials, there is good news among the five mysterious cases in the Centennial State.
“All of those children are either improving or recovered,” Burakoff said.
Parents should know hepatitis in children is, overall, rare. However, it’s always a good idea to be on the lookout for potential symptoms. Those symptoms include yellowing of the skin and eyes. Flu-like symptoms have also been reported.
Those suffering hepatitis symptoms should seek medical attention.