An outbreak of mysterious hepatitis cases in children had doctors and investigators closely monitoring hundreds of cases in the United States and globally for the last several months. Dr. Ajay Jain is a SLUCare hepatologist at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital who says the hepatitis cases have been very minimal.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that can damage or destroy liver cells. Children who are exposed to a virus that causes hepatitis are more likely to be diagnosed with hepatitis. A simple blood test can confirm hepatitis.

Dr. Jain says that parents should not panic. These cases are extremely rare in children. While there is no definitive cause, doctors and scientists have learned that adenovirus is a possible culprit as adenovirus has been found in 50% of the cases in the U.S. Adenovirus is a group of viruses that causes cold, tonsillitis, and ear infections in children. Dr. Jain says Covid-19 has not been linked to hepatitis cases either.

But Dr. Jain says that symptoms of hepatitis can include vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dehydration, and yellowing of the skin or eyes. Other warning signs might be dark urine or light-colored stool.

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