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The CDC is reporting 36 more unexplained hepatitis cases in children

 A magnified photomicrograph of liver tissue infected by viral hepatitis.
A magnified photomicrograph of liver tissue infected by viral hepatitis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday reported 36 additional unexplained hepatitis cases in children, raising the nation's total to 216.

The CDC reported 38 states or jurisdictions (including Puerto Rico) have reported cases with the investigation since October. The illnesses are considered rare.

More than 600 cases have been reported globally.

In Utah, two children younger than 10 were treated for unexplained hepatitis and that the cases are reflected in CDC's update, officials said. The children were hospitalized with serious liver disease and have recovered.

Health officials remain perplexed by the cases. The best available evidence points to a fairly common stomach bug called adenovirus 41. That virus hasn’t previously caused this kind of problem in otherwise healthy kids.

More than 20 other countries have reported hundreds more cases in total, though the largest numbers have been in the U.K. and U.S. The scope of the problem only started to become clear last month, though researchers say they have been working on the mystery for months.

Symptoms of hepatitis — or inflammation of the liver — include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, light-colored stools, joint pain and jaundice.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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