Lurie Children's Hospital finds 4th possible case of hepatitis in kids reported in Illinois

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Children's hospitals in the Chicago area have been going through past cases to see if any patients with hepatitis also tested positive for adenovirus.

On Monday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported three such cases similar to the clusters in Alabama and Europe. Lurie Children's Hospital found another case from March on Tuesday.

"The child did have vomiting diarrhea and some respiratory symptoms and had hepatitis, but was not very severe," said Lurie Children's Hospital, Hepatologist Dr. Catherine Chapin.

Chapin said that child did recover and now all hepatitis patients at Lurie will be screened for adenovirus, especially adenovirus 41, which may be the cause of hepatitis outbreaks.

"In some of these, reports the children require transplantation, so that is concerning and certainly we need to be paying attention," Chapin said.

Rush University Medicine Pediatric Infectious Disease Dr. Marielle Fricchione also weighed in.

"The one that causes diarrhea and vomiting could just get on the hands and be spread between kids through hands or surfaces touched by hands," Fricchione said. "We don't have a vaccine for Adenovirus 41, so we do have to control it by hand-washing and cleaning surfaces."

While the doctors ABC7 spoke with explained adenovirus is known to cause liver inflammation or damage in kids with other health issues, what's troubling about the recent cases is the kids were healthy. They and others who care for kids across the country and around to world are eager to find out what's making some of these kids so sick.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.