Acute Severe Hepatitis in Children: Call for Cases

Official Message No.:111303-4-22-2022-PHAD
Contact Info: Reed |
Attachments: Yes Attachment 1

Key Points or Updates: 

(1)             CDC is investigating nine cases of severe hepatitis of unknown cause in otherwise healthy children in Alabama. These cases are potentially linked to adenovirus type 41, although the cause is not yet known. Multiple cases are also under investigation in several western European countries.

(2)             The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) Communicable Disease Service (CDS) is working with CDC to ascertain if similar illnesses have been detected in New Jersey.

Action Items:

1.                In addition to workup for common causes of hepatitis (viral testing for hepatitis A,B,C,E), healthcare providers should consider testing for adenovirus using NAAT (e.g. PCR) of respiratory specimens, blood, stool, and rectal swabs.

2.                NJDOH requests that healthcare providers report suspected cases of hepatitis of unknown etiology to NJDOH, specifically:

a.                Children <10 years of age with elevated aspartate aminotransferase (AST) or alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (>500 U/L) who have an unknown etiology for their hepatitis (with or without any adenovirus testing results, independent of the results) since October 1, 2021.

3.                Cases should be reported to NJDOH via a secure online portal:

4.                NJDOH will help coordinate additional testing for individuals who meet the above case definition and test positive for adenovirus.

This information has been broadcast to: School Nurses; Community Health Centers (FQHCs); Long-term Care; Health Care Facilities / Other; Health Care Organizations; Health Care Providers; Hospital Staff Directory; Hospital CEOs; Hospital Emerg Preparedness Coords; Hospital ER Medical Directors; Hospital Infection Control Practitioners; Hospital Medical Directors; Hospital Nursing Directors; Hospital Security Directors; ICU Administrator; Lab Director; Hospitals / Acute Care; Hospitals / Other; Local Boards of Health; NJDOH Staff; NJLINCS and Local Contacts; NJLINCS Community; Public Health Associations; Public Health Council; Public Health Sector