The first cases of monkeypox in children have been reported as the epidemic takes a new turn. Health officials in the US said children under eight are the most at risk of severe monkeypox.
An expert warned it was a “concerning development” and suggests the outbreak is “not under control”. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) declared two infected kids – a toddler in California and a non-US resident but was tested in the Washington DC area. The children were described as being in good health and receiving treatment. How they caught the disease is being investigated, but officials believe it was from household members.
The cases are among 2,8000 cases reported in the US so far. Gay and bisexual men have been dispropriatenly impacted by monkeypox since it spread globally this summer. It is not considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI), however, is mostly spreading through close sexual contact among in this group.
Monkeypox can also spread through close skin-to-skin contact, by touching towels or bedding of an infected person – which means anyone can catch it. There is also evidence it is airborne, therefore possible to catch from someone’s coughs or sneezes.
Speaking of the new cases in kids, Jimmy Whitworth, an Emeritus Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told The Sun: “This is a concerning development. “Anyone who comes into close contact with a case can become infected, so this is not entirely surprising.
“But it shows that the outbreak is not under control. “Children under eight, and pregnant women, are thought to be at increased risk of developing severe disease once infected. “And limiting close contact amongst children is a different challenge to high-risk adults.”
Prof Whitworth added that monkeypox is unlikely to cause an epidemic in the general population because “most people do not have very close contact with many different people”. In Europe, there have been at least six monkeypox cases among kids 17 years old and younger. Data from the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) suggests that one child in the UK (0-15 years old) has been infected, and was a male. READ MORE