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Health Alert Network (HAN) Reports and Updates

CDC’s Health Alert Network (HAN) is CDC’s primary method of sharing cleared information about urgent public health incidents with public information officers; federal, state, territorial, tribal, and local public health practitioners; clinicians; and public health laboratories.

CDC’s HAN collaborates with federal, state, territorial, tribal, and city/county partners to develop protocols and stakeholder relationships that will ensure a robust interoperable platform for the rapid distribution of public health information.


 

Categories of Health Alert Network messages:

Health Alert - Requires immediate action or attention; highest level of importance

Health Advisory -  May not require immediate action; provides important information for a specific incident or situation

Health Update - Unlikely to require immediate action; provides updated information regarding an incident or situation

HAN Info Service - Does not require immediate action; provides general public health information


 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing this Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Update to provide clinicians and public health authorities with updated information about an epidemiologic investigation of pediatric cases of hepatitis of unknown etiology in the United States. This investigation focuses on collecting information to describe the epidemiology, etiology, clinical presentation, severity, and risk factors related to illness and to identify any relationship between adenovirus infection or other factors and hepatitis. As of May 5, 2022, CDC and state partners are investigating 109 children with hepatitis of unknown origin across 25 states and territories, more than half of whom have tested positive for adenovirus with more than 90% hospitalized, 14% with liver transplants, and five deaths under investigation. Because this investigation is ongoing and includes reviewing cases of hepatitis of unknown cause with onset since October 2021, patients under investigation are not limited to current or newly diagnosed pediatric hepatitis illnesses.

A person has tested positive for avian influenza A(H5) virus (H5 bird flu) in the U.S., as confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and reported by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on April 28, 2022. This case occurred in a person who had direct exposure to poultry and who was involved in the culling (depopulating) of poultry with presumptive H5N1 bird flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing this Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory to update healthcare providers, public health departments, and the public about the availability and use of recommended therapies for COVID-19 and to advise against using unproven treatments that have known or potential harms for outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19. For patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are not hospitalized and who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes, several treatment optionsexternal icon are now widely available and accessible.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing this Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory to notify clinicians and public health authorities of a cluster of children identified with hepatitis and adenovirus infection. In November 2021, clinicians at a large children's hospital in Alabama notified CDC of five pediatric patients with significant liver injury, including three with acute liver failure, who also tested positive for adenovirus. All children were previously healthy. None had COVID-19. Case-finding efforts at this hospital identified four additional pediatric patients with hepatitis and adenovirus infection for a total of nine patients admitted from October 2021 through February 2022; all five that were sequenced had adenovirus type 41 infection identified. In two patients, plasma samples were negative for adenovirus by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), but both patients were positive when retested using whole blood. Two patients required liver transplant; no patients died. A possible association between pediatric hepatitis and adenovirus infection is currently under investigation. Cases of pediatric hepatitis in children who tested negative for hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D, and E were reported earlier this month in the United Kingdom, including some with adenovirus infection.

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has quickly become the dominant variant of concern in the United States and is present in all 50 states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that eligible individuals should get all vaccines and booster shots as the best preventive measure available against severe disease, hospitalizations, and death due to COVID-19. Therapeutics are also available for preventing and treating COVID-19 in specific at-risk populations. These therapeutics differ in efficacy, route of administration, risk profile, and whether they are authorized by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for adults only or adults and certain pediatric populations. Some therapeutics are in short supply, but availability is expected to increase in the coming months. This Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory serves to familiarize healthcare providers with available therapeutics, understand how and when to prescribe and prioritize them, and recognize contraindications.