ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory due to a possible connection between pediatric hepatitis and adenovirus infection.

Between October 2021 and February of this year, nine children were admitted to a hospital in Alabama after testing positive for both Hepatitis A and Adenovirus.

This caused researchers to open an investigation to find a possible connection between the two illnesses – which historically have never been linked.

“There’s no known connection between the Alabama cases right now and other states, though it’s possible of course,” said Dan Gilmore, Director of Health in Oneida County. “It’s being explored by the CDC and state health departments.”

Five of these pediatric patients in Alabama suffered injuries to the liver – two needing liver transplants – but no deaths have been reported. They also tested negative for Covid-19.

Adenoviruses are DNA viruses that are spread by close personal contact, with the most common symptoms being that of the common cold or flu.

“If people have hepatitis like symptoms, which include a whole suite of symptoms including fever, fatigue, aches and pains, vomiting, diarrhea, and they’re extremely ill – then they should see their primary care provider who will guide them on treatment and conduct various tests,” said Gilmore.

This possible and mysterious connection between adenoviruses and pediatric hepatitis is leading scientists to research this particular strain to find an association, but while researchers work to figure out where this is coming from and how to prevent the spread, there are ways to protect yourself and your family.

“Like with all communicable diseases practicing good hygiene is always a good practice – handwashing, staying a bit distance from others – particularly during these times when there’s still a large number of cases throughout the country of Covid-19,” said Gilmore.

As always, we’ll keep you updated on new developments affecting Oneida County.