US Reports 1st Cases of Monkeypox in Children: What Are the Symptoms?

Monkeypox in Children: The patients, two unrelated infants, are keeping well, according to the US CDC.

2 min read
US Reports 1st Cases of Monkeypox in Children: What Are the Symptoms?

Two cases of monkeypox have been identified in children in the US, the Centers for Drugs Control and Prevention (US CDC) said on Friday, 22 July.

According to the CDC, the patients include one toddler in California and an infant who isn't a US resident. In a statement, they also added that both the kids are fine and are being treated.

This is the first time monkeypox has been reported in children in a non-endemic country since the outbreaks started this year.

Monkeypox: Who Is at Risk?

Since the outbreaks started in the begining of 2022, the global tally of cases has crossed 14,000 according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

So far, health authorities around the world have noted that all the patients have been adults, mainly men who have sex with men (MSM).


Dr Jennifer McQuiston, deputy director of the US CDC's division of high consequence pathogens and pathology in a press conference said about 99 percent of the monkeypox cases confirmed in the US involve men who have sex with men.

However, it must be noted that anyone can get infected.

Speaking to FIT for a different story, epidemiologist and public health expert, Dr Chandrakant Lahariya said, "it isn't a sexually transmitted disease."

Rather, he says, it is a disease that spreads through skin to skin contact, which means sexual activity increases the risk of getting infected.

So it isn't unusual for children to be infected. The US CDC has also said that the two children being infected is likely a result of household transmission.

Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment: What to Know

According to the WHO, typical symptoms of monkeypox to look out for include,

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Headache

  • Bodyache

  • Rashes

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Painful blisters on the hands, feet and face (like chickenpox)

Monkeypox has a long incubation period that can range from 5 to 21 days.

Dr Lahariya also tells FIT that if the patient doesn't develop symptoms, they can't spread the virus.

After the second case of monkeypox was detected in India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) released safety guidelines, saying that people who suspect monkeypox like symptoms should get checked by a physician, especially if,

  • They have come in contact with people who may have had monkeypox

  • They live in areas where monkeypox has been detected

According to the guidelines, travellers are also adviced to avoid,

  • Close contact with sick people, especially if they have skin lesions

  • Close contact with wild animals, especially rodents and primates

  • Eating meat of wild animals

(Written with inputs from Reuters.)

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Topics:  Monkeypox 

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