PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A mysterious severe hepatitis in children is causing concerns for parents and doctors.

The CDC is reporting more than 100 confirmed cases in the United States. Symptoms include gastrointestinal issues, fever, vomiting, and jaundice, the yellowing of the skin and eyes.

Dr. Ian Kang, pediatric gastroenterologist at OSF Healthcare, said he has not yet seen local cases, but national cases have been so severe they need liver transplants.

“So while the numbers are not very high, the severity of the illness can be worrying … Most of the cases have been isolated to some specific larger liver transplant centers, because when people are having that kind of illness, and they’re not responding to normal therapies and that they’re getting sicker than they do, get sent to a transplant center,” he said

Kang said more than 50% of cases have had a virus called adenovirus type 41 in their blood, but the source of the disease still remains a mystery. The contagious virus spreads by touch.

“So at this point, if there is an association with adenovirus or with any specific viral illness that has not yet been identified, it is contagious …. Right now, the best defense we have for this is a really good handwashing,” he said.

Kang emphasized there is no correlation between COVID-19 and vaccines.

“The majority of these patients have been in the younger age groups. So maybe, like age three to six and they were not necessarily vaccinated for COVID, so there’s no association with vaccinations,” he said.

Kang advised contacting a doctor for symptoms like jaundice or severe fatigue.