The first two cases of monkeypox in children in the United States have been confirmed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday.
The agency said in a statement that both cases are “likely the result of household transmission” and that the people involved “had no contact with each other.”
One is a toddler who lives in California, and the other is an infant who does not live in the U.S. but was in the Washington, D.C. area while “passing through.”
The CDC’s Jennifer McQuiston told reporters on Friday, “We just found out about these cases this week, and we’ve been working with the local governments to learn more about them.”
The Washington Post first learned about the cases on Friday from Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who is in charge of the CDC. She said that both children “are doing well.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that children, especially those under 8 years old, have an “especially increased risk” of getting severe monkeypox disease.
Last week, people from the CDC told reporters that they only knew of cases of monkeypox in adults at that time. But the agency said that state and local health officials had only told them more about the demographics of less than half of the cases they had counted.
McQuiston said that the agency is also aware of at least eight cases involving people who say they are cisgender women. So far, most of the cases have been men who have had sex with other men.
“There is no evidence to date that this virus is spreading outside of these groups in any way,” said McQuiston. “I think that the main people who are spreading this infection in the U.S. right now are still gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with other men.”
What we know about the spread of monkeypox, its symptoms, and how to treat it
As of Friday, the CDC had counted 2,891 cases of monkeypox in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.
Even though the virus has caused a lot of pain and sometimes serious complications in adults, many of the cases have been able to go away on their own after a few weeks without intensive treatment or hospitalization.
But health officials say that young children may be more at risk from monkeypox.
The World Health Organization says that more young children have died from monkeypox in countries where it has spread widely before 2022.
During the current outbreak, monkeypox has also been found in children under the age of 18 in a few countries.
On Wednesday, the European version of the CDC counted at least five cases. On Wednesday, officials in the capital of Spain said they had found a case in a 7-month-old baby who most likely got the virus from their parents.
In the Netherlands, doctors said they could not figure out how a boy younger than 10 got the virus. The infection didn’t spread to any other people.
As with adults, medicines like the antiviral tecovirimat or TPOXX can be used to treat monkeypox in children. In the past, these medicines have been given to children without any problems. But the CDC says that no clinical studies have looked into how the antiviral works in children.
The agency said that tecovirimat is being used to treat both children.
Only the Jynneos monkeypox shots for adults have been officially approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Federal health officials, on the other hand, say that the Biden administration has made plans so that doses can be given to children during the current outbreak.
In June, CDC officials said that at least one child patient had been given the Jynneos vaccine. This week, a hospital in New Jersey said they had helped a 3-year-old who had been exposed to a positive case get vaccinated.
Scientists at the CDC have estimated that it takes a little over a week for monkeypox symptoms to show up on average after someone is exposed to a person with the disease.
The CDC says that getting the two-dose monkeypox vaccine during this time can still lessen the severity of the disease or even stop it from happening.
“The CDC says that the vaccine should be given within 4 days of being exposed to the disease in order to stop it from getting worse. If you get vaccinated between 4 and 14 days after being exposed to a disease, it might lessen the symptoms, but it might not stop the disease “in its tracks,” the agency says.
A Food and Drug Administration spokesperson wouldn’t say how many requests have been approved for the vaccine to be used on children.
A company spokesperson confirmed that Bavarian Nordic plans to gather data based on how the CDC uses the vaccine.
More Details : WHO NEWSROOM