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There have been cases of monkeypox in children, how high is the risk?


In the case of monkeypox that occurs in about 80 countries today, several cases have been recorded in children. So far the United States has reported 4 cases of monkeypox in children and 1 case in Spain.

The number of cases is minuscule compared to adult cases where thousands of people have been infected. But experts have warned that children under the age of eight are at high risk of severe disease if they get monkeypox.

Here’s what you need to know about the risk of monkeypox in children.



Children Can Be Infected

According to Prof Jimmy Whithworth of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, anyone who has close contact with an infected patient is at risk of contracting it, including children.

“Anyone who comes into close contact with a case can be infected,” he said.

Hugh Adler, a clinical scientist at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, said that until now, cases in children are more common in cases in Africa due to contact with wild animals.

“Infection in children is relatively more common in African countries, where it is usually acquired through contact with wildlife,” said Prof Adler.

He added, if cases in children outside African countries are high, it is a sign that monkeypox transmission has spread.

“If a high number of cases is seen in children, this indicates that household or community transmission is widespread,” he added.

Is it High Risk?

Prof Adler states that if a child is infected with monkeypox they are less likely to pass it on to other children at school.

“Sick children (including with monkeypox) will usually be kept at home instead of playing with other children, indeed they may feel very unwell at the initial stage, and then isolated if they test positive,” he said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that severe cases are more common in young children. Likewise, the United States (US) CDC has warned of preliminary evidence that suggests children under the age of eight may develop a more severe reaction to the virus.

The US CDC says young children with eczema and other skin conditions and children with immunocompromising conditions are also at increased risk of severe disease.

Watch Videos”3 Phases Experienced by Patients Infected with Monkeypox
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