North Carolina Up To 9 Reported Cases Of Hepatitis In Children :: WRAL.com

State health officials are warning parents to be wary of rare cases of hepatitis in their children. As of Wednesday, there are nine pediatric cases in the state — up from four last week.

Doctors emphasize that hepatitis, which is known to cause severe liver damage, usually does not occur in children. Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are looking at more than 100 possible cases and five deaths.

“It’s very strange for us to have this number of cases,” said pediatrician Dr. Steven Lichtman.

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Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver and is caused by viruses or heavy alcohol consumption, according to medical experts. Lichtman says adenovirus may be a possible link to the sudden spike.

“Adenovirus is a very, very common virus that causes colds or pink eye,” he said.

With an unknown cause, doctors are urging parents to know what symptoms to look for before seeking help.

“You don’t have to worry until you see the urine looking dark and the eyes starting to turn yellow,” Lichtman says.

Rocky Mount parent Adam Omar said he will be on the lookout for the sudden rise in cases.

“We try to protect them from everything,” Omar said.

Experts say there appears to be no link between hepatitis and COVID-19

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