A further 71 cases have been identified as mysterious hepatitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

No further deaths were reported over the two weeks since the last report, but previously the CDC revealed it was probing five fatalities in the outbreak — with one in Wisconsin. 

Another child required liver transplantation, which brings the total number of patients who need this procedure up to 16.

In total, 180 patients with mysterious hepatitis from 35 states have been identified as being linked to this outbreak. All of these cases were 10 or younger.

The UK was the first to detect the epidemic and has the second highest total of 163 cases.

According to the CDC, the vast majority of the patients in these cases were retroactive. They came into hospitals prior May and have just recently been diagnosed.

Scientists are puzzled as to what is causing the outbreak, but CDC officials say adenoviruses — which can cause the common cold — remain a ‘strong lead’ with nearly half of patients testing positive for them.

Some theories also suggest that an adenovirus mutation, Covid infection or pet dog exposure could trigger the illness.

All the normal causes of the illness — hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D and E — have been ruled out.

 The CDC today said another 71 cases of the mysterious hepatitis had been spotted in the U.S., taking the tally to 180. These cases have been identified in 35 of the 50 states listed above.

The mysterious hepatitis has claimed the lives of at least 12 children worldwide. Five deaths have been reported from Indonesia, one in Ireland and one in Palestine.

The U.S. announced today that there have been at least 520 such cases in 21 countries. Most of these were among children aged under 10.

Officials from the CDC stated that they are continuing to investigate all causes for this mysterious hepatitis epidemic.

Q&A: What is the mysterious global hepatitis outbreak and what is behind it? 

What’s hepatitis?

Hepatitis refers to inflammation of the liver. It is often caused by viral infections or alcohol-related liver damage. 

While some cases can resolve on their own, others may require ongoing treatment.

Which symptoms are they?

Patients with hepatitis experience nausea and vomiting as well as fatigue.

They may also suffer from jaundice — when the skin and whites of the eyes turn yellow. 

Experts are concerned about what?

Although hepatitis in children is rare, experts believe that the current outbreak has already seen more cases than usual in children.

According to the World Health Organization, cases are often of unknown origin and can be severe. 

These are some of the most important theories. 

Co-infection

Although experts believe the cases could be due to adenovirus (commonly associated with colds), further research continues.

Combining this with Covid infections could cause an increase in the number of cases. 

Three quarters (75%) of British cases tested positive for the virus. 

Inhibited immunity

British specialists who were assigned to investigate the outbreak of illness believe that the incessant cycle of lockdowns could have been a contributor.

Children may be more susceptible to adenovirus if there are restrictions. 

Because children have not responded to adenovirus in the same way they used to, even normal adenovirus can cause severe consequences. 

Mutation in Adenovirus

Scientists speculated that the unusual mutations could have come from an adenovirus.

It could also be transmitted more easily or have a better chance of getting around the natural immunity of children.

Covid new variant

Officials from the UKHSA included “a new variant” of SARS-CoV-2 in their work hypotheses.

Covid may have caused liver inflammation during pandemics in very few cases. These were more common in older people than in children. 

Environmental triggers  

According to the CDC, environmental triggers remain a possibility. 

This could involve pollution or being exposed to specific drugs or toxins.

The researchers discovered that 11 additional states have detected mysterious cases of hepatitis in the past two weeks. 

These included: Arkansas, Hawaii. Kentucky. Massachusetts. Nevada. New Jersey. Oklahoma. Rhode Island. South Dakota.

Previously a total of 24 states had detected the virus, which were: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

Puerto Rico had also been reported to have experienced at least one of these cases.

The CDC said that it was rare for children to have severe hepatitis.

‘However, we encourage parents and caregivers to be aware of the symptoms of hepatitis — particularly jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin or eyes — and to contact their child’s healthcare provider with any concerns’. 

America’s mysterious hepatitis outbreak began in October 2013. Nine cases of it were first reported in Alabama.

These incidents were originally dismissed as isolated by the CDC, but officials reexamined their assessment after the UK raised concern about an outbreak.

American health officials sent two warnings to nurses and doctors urging them to watch out for people with this illness.

A top scientist said last week that the epidemic would persist ‘throughout summer’, and that many cases went undiagnosed.

Dr Matthew Binnicker, the director of clinical virology at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, told DailyMail.com that cases will continue to crop up because transmission of adenoviruses — the main suspect — tends ‘not to be seasonal’.

He warned schools and daycare centers — where children mix — were major hubs for spreading the virus.

Touching feces-contaminated surfaces can transmit Adenoviruses.

Exclusively speaking to DailyMail.com Dr Binnicker stated that he would not feel comfortable stating the outbreak had peaked.

“I think cases will continue arising throughout the summer period, because we will keep seeing children in day care areas where there’s higher transmission.

“This is a type of adenovirus that we do not consider seasonal. We will still see cases all year.

Children with mystery hepatitis and adenovirus are more likely to be positive for type 41, which is scientifically known as Type 41.

The gastric system is infected, causing symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting.

The fecal-oral route is where it spreads.

Binnicker was asked whether there were any more cases being reported in the U.S., and he said it would likely be because many are still being diagnosed.

“Hepatitis could occur at any level, from causing an individual’s hospitalization to another end of the spectrum where it’s milder to requiring them to go to the emergency room,” he stated.

‘In [the mild]In some cases it might not be necessary for parents to bring their child to an investigation or hospital.

Many of these children will have gastroenteritis symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. However, some may also suffer from an upper respiratory disease, like a severe cough, or sore throat, that precedes hepatitis.

“Those with hepatitis then will notice changes in their skin colors, such as jaundice and yellowing. These symptoms can range from extremely noticeable to subtle.

The yellowing of an eye’s white is also something parents notice and are shocked at times. However, it can be subtle and often not seen by their children.