(CTN News) – The virus monkeypox has been detected in children for the first time in the United States – a toddler in California and an infant not from the country.
The two cases are unrelated and likely result from household transmission, the CDC said. According to the agency, the children are healthy and receiving treatment.
There has been an outbreak of monkeypox outside the west and central African countries where it is endemic, which causes flu-like symptoms and skin lesions. Close contact is the main method of transmission.
Over 14,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported this year in more than 60 countries.
CDC deputy director Jennifer McQuiston, who spoke on a conference call, said it’s not surprising monkeypox has spread to children, but the virus is not spreading outside gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.
Most of the 2,891 monkeypox cases confirmed in the United States have been men who have sex with men, but a few have been women and transgender men.
Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, said the government has delivered 300,000 doses and is working to expedite the shipment of 786,000 more doses from Denmark.
There is already enough vaccine on hand to provide a first vaccine dose to over half of New York City’s eligible population and over 70% of Washington’s.
The fatality rate of previous outbreaks in Africa of the current strain has been around 1%, but so far this outbreak seems to be less lethal in nonendemic countries. Several patients have been hospitalized for severe pain.
US officials are still evaluating whether monkeypox should be declared a public health emergency. Declaring a public health emergency could enhance the response, if any.”
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