Nebraska DHHS and Local Health Departments Investigating Pediatric Hepatitis Cases of Unknown Origin


Lincoln, Neb. – On April 21, 2022, the CDC released a Health Alert Network (HAN) Advisory ( describing a cluster of cases of hepatitis (liver inflammation) in children, potentially associated with an adenovirus infection. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and local health departments (LHDs) are investigating nine similar cases of pediatric hepatitis of unknown origin, which were reported by community members and Children’s Hospital.

Among these nine, hepatitis was identified between November 5, 2021, and March 6, 2022. The median age of the patients is two (range = 1 – 9). Three of the nine tested positive for adenovirus. There have been no identified transplants and no identified deaths. Investigations are ongoing.

Dr. Matthew Donahue, Nebraska State Epidemiologist said, “Adenoviruses spread through respiratory droplets and through contact with contaminated surfaces. They traditionally cause common colds, diarrhea, and pink eye. It’s not yet clear if these cases of hepatitis are a result of adenovirus infection, a combination of infections, or a factor not yet identified. The unknowns surrounding these cases underscore the role of public health investigations. Clinicians should notify their local public health department if they’re treating a patient less than 10 years of age with hepatitis of unknown origin (AST or ALT >500U/L).”

For more information about symptoms of hepatitis and more information about adenovirus, see CDC’s HAN Advisory: For a map of Nebraska LHDs, click here.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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