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British health officials think virus may be the link to hepatitis cases in U.K. and Alabama


A common virus may be the culprit behind a rash of childhood hepatitis cases in Europe and Alabama. The United Kingdom Health Security Agency has recorded over one hundred cases of unexplained liver inflammation among children under ten since January. U.S. authorities say they were investigating a cluster of otherwise unexplained hepatitis cases diagnosed in nine Alabama children. These youngsters tested positive for what’s called adenovirus. Healthcare providers in the U.K. think this disease is a leading suspect in their outbreak, with 75% of their pediatric patients testing positive. Alabama is the only spot in the United States involved in the rash of hepatitis cases. Sick children are also being reported in the Netherlands, Ireland, and elsewhere in Europe. U.K. public health officials have ruled out any links to COVID-19 vaccines, saying none of the affected children was vaccinated.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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