Five children have died in the unexplained hepatitis outbreak and more than 100 cases have been spotted leading to 15 liver transplants, the CDC revealed today.

Jay Butler, deputy director of infectious diseases at the Agency, revealed the shocking results on Friday. She said all children under 10 had died since October.

He said that more than 9 out 10 patients were hospitalized. All of them had previous been in good health and didn’t have any other underlying medical conditions. This disease was reported in 23 states and Puerto Rico.

It is not clear what is triggering the spate of illnesses, but CDC chiefs are now probing whether exposure to animals — including pet dogs — could be behind the cases.

Health chiefs in the UK — which has recorded more than 160 cases — said earlier today they were also looking into a link with canines after finding a ‘high’ number of children with hepatitis lived in families that had pet dogs or were exposed to the animals. The link could be possible, officials cautioned. This is despite the fact that dog ownership in the UK is very common.

The leading hypothesis is that adenoviruses — which can cause the common cold — are behind the illnesses across the country, with the majority of cases in the U.S. testing positive for this.

Butler claimed that the CDC kept an ‘open-mind” and was also investigating whether a Covid infection was a previous one or if it was due to lockdowns. There has not been a link between Covid vaccines and the majority of patients who aren’t eligible for them.

The hepatitis virus has now claimed the lives of at least eight children worldwide. There are also three Indonesian cases being examined. More than 300 people are currently infected worldwide. The majority of these cases have been reported to the US and UK due to improved surveillance.  

A total of 24 states and Puerto Rico have recorded cases of the mysterious hepatitis, the CDC revealed today. They are marked out above. It is not clear what is causing the outbreak but scientists are now investigating whether exposure to animals including pet dogs may be behind the illness

 A total of 24 states and Puerto Rico have recorded cases of the mysterious hepatitis, the CDC revealed today. These cases are highlighted above. Although it is unclear what caused the epidemic, scientists continue to investigate whether pets dogs or other animals may have been exposed.

Dr Jay Butler, the agency's deputy director for infectious diseases, (pictured at a CDC briefing) revealed the grim tally at a conference today. It takes the global total to at least eight deaths, with three also under investigation in Indonesia

Dr Jay Butler, the agency’s deputy director for infectious diseases, (pictured at a CDC briefing) revealed the grim tally at a conference today. This brings the total global death toll up to eight, and three more are under investigation in Indonesia.

Health chiefs claim a 'high' number of the sickened children, who are aged 10 and under, come from families which own dogs or have had 'dog exposures' in the UK

According to health chiefs, a significant number of children who become sick when they are 10 or under come from families that have dogs or had exposure to dogs in the UK.

The CDC chiefs didn’t reveal the location in which the deaths due to hepatitis occurred in the United States, however one death has been reported in Wisconsin by state health chiefs.

Following a nationwide warning, which advised doctors to watch out for the disease in their area, the CDC received reports of hepatitis cases.

The cause of this strange occurrence is still unknown to health officials. None of the American cases were positive for the common hepatitis A and B, C, D, or E viruses. 

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

What’s hepatitis?

Hepatitis, which is an inflammation of your liver caused by alcohol abuse or viral infection, is a common condition. 

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

What is the point of experts being concerned?

While hepatitis is not common in children, it’s more common in adults. Experts have seen more cases of the disease in this current outbreak than what they might normally see in one year.

According to the World Health Organization, these cases are of unknown origin and can be severe. This has led to up to 18 liver transplants and two deaths.

These are some of the most important theories. 


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. 

According to the WHO, adenovirus was detected in at most 74 cases. The coronavirus was detected in at least 20 cases.

Immunity is weak

British experts who investigated the spate of diseases believe that lockdowns played an important role in the epidemic.

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

It is possible that even “normal” adenovirus may be responsible for the serious outcomes. This could happen because the children aren’t responding the way they were in the past. 

The mutation of Adenovirus

Others speculate that it could be the Adenovirus, which has undergone ‘unusual mutations.

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 caused liver inflammation in rare instances during the pandemic. However, these cases were not isolated to children and spread across the globe. 

Environmental triggers  

UKHSA noted that environmental triggers remain under investigation as potential causes for the illness. 

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

Butler reported that there had been 109 cases so far of mysterious liver disease. He also said the children weren’t suffering from an underlying illness and were in good health. The majority of children had “recovered completely” from the illness.

According to him, cases have been reported in these states: Alabama. Arizona. California. Colorado. Delaware. Florida. Georgia. Idaho. Illinois. Indiana. Louisiana. Minnesota. Missouri. North Carolina. North Dakota. Nebraska. New York. Ohio. Pennsylvania. Tennessee. Washington.

According to the CDC, Puerto Rico has also reported at most one case of hepatitis. 

Because of ‘confidentiality concerns’, the agency wouldn’t reveal how many were located in each state.

Alabama was the previous state to have reported nine of the highest number of cases. 

Dr. Butler responded to Dr. Butler’s question about whether cases in the U.S. may be connected with pet dogs. 

“We are really trying to be broad and open-minded in terms of whether or not the adenovirus might affect innocent people bystanders, or whether cofactors may make the ad more visible in a way we have never seen before. 

“It’s challenging, because it’s still very rare.”

When asked what his leading theory behind the trigger of these cases was, he replied: “Because the link to the adenovirus would I call that the top of the list virus of interest.” 

“But, we are unsure if this is the adenovirus or an immune response to that particular strain or if there may be an infectious factor or co-factor. 

“At the moment we have these hypotheses. But I believe we are serious about considering whether this could be something that’s happened at a low-level for many years, and we haven’t documented.

The children did not have a history of previous infections or tests positive for Covid. To determine whether they have had any undiagnosed infections with the virus in the past, surveillance is currently underway. 

Dr Umesh parashar from the CDC was also present at the conference and warned of poor surveillance in the U.S. for adenovirus cases. 

However, he stated that the virus has not been reported in more people than was expected. The number of confirmed cases is down over the three-year period due to the efforts made to control the spread.

Butler said that liver transplants have not seen a dramatic increase in this country.

Parashar explained that he was looking at the matter in a holistic way.

“If the exposure to the Covid was not previously given, or the host is at risk of being exposed again in the future. Also consider whether the Covid has been subject to mitigations during the last two years. [we will look into it].

“It could also be possible for the virus to change.”

“We won’t know this until some whole genome studies have been completed, and we can compare the strains to the templates of background strains. 

“It’s possible that the adenovirus may not be responsible for this outbreak. We are open to considering environmental exposures and other viruses.

The World Health Organization announced Tuesday that it is investigating more than 50 causes for the disease.

Canada, Poland, Japan, Austria and Germany are some of the other countries reporting cases.

Children struck down with the illness generally have fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, light-colored stools, joint pain and jaundice.

The parents were advised to be on the lookout for signs and symptoms. However, the chance of their child contracting the disease was ‘extremely unlikely’.

The UK had detected 163 confirmed and possible hepatitis cases among under-10s by May 3, which were not caused by the usual hepatitis A to E viruses. Of these, 118 cases are resident in England, 22 in Scotland, 13 in Wales and 10 in Northern Ireland

Up to May 3, 163 suspected cases of hepatitis were confirmed in the UK among people under 10. These cases weren’t caused by the hepatitis A or E viruses. These cases include 118 in England, 23 in Scotland, 13 from Wales, and 10 in Northern Ireland. 

As of May 3, there were 118 cases confirmed in England, none of which are linked with each other. Some 40 cases in the country are waiting to be confirmed (grey bars). Nearly six in 10 cases are among children aged three to five

The number of confirmed cases in England was 118 as of May 3rd. None of them are related to each other. About 40 cases are still being confirmed in the country (grey bars). Nearly 6 in 10 of these cases concern children under five.

The report also revealed that adenovirus continues to be the most commonly detected virus amongst the youngsters with hepatitis. Blood tests from 126 of the affected children in the UK showed 91 were carrying it (72 per cent). And the UKHSA noted that some who tested negative only had throat and faecal tests rather than the gold-standard blood test

It was revealed in the report that the most prevalent virus found among hepatitis children is still adenovirus. The UKHSA tested blood samples from 126 children with hepatitis. It found that 91 of them (72%) were positive. UKHSA found that some of the negative children had throat and stool tests instead of the gold-standard blood test. 

The UK Health Security Agency’s Health Chiefs said that they are investigating the possibility of dogs being responsible for the rash of cases in children with hepatitis.

They trawled through questionnaire responses from affected families and found 70 per cent — 64 of 92 respondents — owned a dog or had been exposed to a dog.

According to the health officials, the discovery may just be chance as dog-ownership is very common in the UK. According to figures, around half of UK adults are pet owners. It is still investigating whether the dog-human connection is significant.

Top experts fear health chiefs won’t understand what’s behind the peculiar pattern — which has been sickened 200 children worldwide since March — for months.