CDC probing 109 liver illnesses in kids, including 5 deaths

CDC probing 109 liver illnesses in kids, including 5 deaths
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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials are looking into more than 100 possible cases of a mysterious and severe liver disease in children, including five deaths.

About two dozen states reported suspected cases after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out a call for doctors to be on the lookout for surprising cases of hepatitis. The cases date back to late October in children under 10. So far, only nine cases in Alabama have been confirmed.

“We are casting a wide net to broaden our understanding,” the CDC’s Dr. Jay Butler said Friday.

What’s causing the illnesses isn’t clear. Adenovirus was detected in half the children, “but we do not know if it is the cause,” he said.

There are dozens of adenoviruses, many of them associated with coldlike symptoms, fever, sore throat and pink eye. But some versions can trigger other problems, including inflammation in the stomach and intestines. Officials are exploring a link to one particular…

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