August 8, 2022

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Monkeypox and kids: How at risk are they?

2 min read

As if one global pandemic isn’t enough to worry about, the Biden administration officially declared monkeypox a national health emergency on Thursday. To date, there are 7,102 confirmed monkeypox cases in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What does this mean for parents? Well, there’s no need to panic just yet. We talked to a doctor to learn more.

“Compared to COVID 19 and other childhood viruses, like the flu and RSV [respiratory syncytial virus], monkeypox does not transmit between people very easily,” says Dr. Larry Kociolek, medical director of infection, prevention and control and attending physician in infectious diseases at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. “Currently, there are 10 pediatric cases across the globe and two reported cases in the U.S.”

What is monkeypox and what are the symptoms in kids?

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus. In general, monkeypox presents similarly in adults as in children—with fever, swollen lymph nodes, and skin lesions throughout the body. Rashes are the most common symptom for monkeypox and can look similar to other rashes commonly found in children.

Symptoms typically start within three weeks of exposure and illness usually lasts two to four weeks. Most cases are mild and do not require hospitalization, but severe cases can occur in people with weakened immune systems.

How is monkeypox transmitted?

The easiest way to transmit monkeypox is through direct contact with skin lesions. “It’s not transmitted through casual contact,” says Kociolek, adding the disease is not easily shared by touching common household items, such as door knobs and handles. “You’re not going to get monkeypox with brief face-to-face interactions with people who have monkeypox, you’re going to get it from really prolonged direct close contact with somebody who’s been affected.”

If I catch monkeypox, how can I prevent…

L’Oreal Thompson Payton

2022-08-05 18:27:21

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