Health officials said on Friday that two children in the US have been diagnosed with monkeypox.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one is a child in California and the other is an infant who is not a US resident but was tested in Washington, DC.
The health of the children is said to be good and they are undergoing treatment. How he caught the disease is under investigation, but officials think it happened through domestic transmission.
Other details were not immediately disclosed.
Monkeypox is endemic in parts of Africa, but more than 15,000 cases have been reported this year in countries that haven’t historically seen the disease. In the US and Europe, most infections have occurred among men who have sex with men, although health officials have insisted that anyone can catch the virus.
In addition to the two pediatric cases, health officials said they knew of at least eight of the more than 2,800 cases reported so far from women.
While the virus seems to be spreading mostly among men who have sex with men, “I don’t think it’s surprising that we’re going to see cases sometimes” outside that social network, the CDC’s Jennifer McQuiston said Friday. told reporters.
Officials have said the virus can be spread through close personal contact, and through towels and bedding. That means it can happen in homes, through prolonged or intense contact, says Dr., an infectious disease specialist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. James Lawler said.
“People don’t crawl on each other’s beds unless they are living in the same house or family,” he said.
In Europe, there have been at least six cases of monkeypox in children aged 17 years and younger.
This week, doctors in the Netherlands published reports of a boy, seen in a hospital in Amsterdam, with about 20 reddish-brown spots on his body. It was monkeypox, and doctors said they couldn’t determine how she got it.
In Africa, monkeypox infections are more common in children, and doctors have noted a higher proportion of severe cases and deaths in young children.
One reason may be that many older adults were vaccinated against smallpox as children, possibly giving them some protection against the related monkeypox virus, Lawler said.
Smallpox vaccinations were discontinued about 40 years ago when the disease was eradicated.