The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told health officials to be on the lookout for potential cases of children with hepatitis.
Hepatitis refers to liver inflammation as a result of viral infections, alcohol, medications, or other conditions. According to NBC News, Alabama has already reported nine cases, while two have also been discovered in North Carolina. The CDC confirmed that five patients, all between the ages of one and six, had severe liver damage in a hospital in Alabama. The health agency clarified that none had a previous COVID-19 infection and were previously healthy.
No deaths have been confirmed by any health officials as of yet, although two patients needed to undergo liver transplants.
“This Health Advisory serves to notify US clinicians who may encounter pediatric patients with hepatitis,” the CDC wrote in a Health Alert Network advisory Thursday.
The European CDC confirmed Tuesday that multiple cases of hepatitis in children have also been located throughout the continent, including Spain and the United Kingdom. The illnesses were typically seen in children between the ages of two and five.
The World Health Organization was notified of the cases earlier this month and warned that "more cases are likely to be reported in the coming days." The United Nations agency ruled out hepatitis type A, B, C, and E viruses in the cases reported based on laboratory testing it had conducted.