CDC: 2 children diagnosed with monkeypox in the US — the first pediatric cases

CDC: 2 children diagnosed with monkeypox in the US — the first pediatric cases
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Annemiek Franken holds the tiny foot of infant son Tunui Franken while he nurses
Owen Franken/Getty Images
  • Two kids were diagnosed with monkeypox in the US this week.

  • These are the first pediatric cases in the country. One is an infant.

  • So far, no one has died from monkeypox in this outbreak, but the disease can be more dangerous for little people.

Two children were diagnosed with monkeypox in the US this week. These are the first pediatric monkeypox cases the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed in an outbreak that has largely spread among men who have sex with men.

The find is concerning because monkeypox can be more severe, or even fatal, for babies, children, and pregnant women, than it is for other adults.

Jennifer McQuiston, the CDC's deputy director of the division of high consequence pathogens, told reporters on a phone call Friday afternoon that one of the kids diagnosed is "an infant" who lives in another country, but who was traveling through Washington, DC with their family when they tested positive for monkeypox.

"The investigations are still in the early phase and ongoing," she said of both pediatric cases. "So, we don't have a lot of details on them."

But McQuiston did suggest that both of the children were close contacts of men who have sex with men.

"MSM-adjacent is maybe not the greatest term, but I think it describes what we're talking about here," she said.

While there have been a few monkeypox cases diagnosed in women and children in the US, more than 99% of cases for which demographics are available in the US outbreak so far are among men who have sex with men.

"I don't think it's surprising," she said of the two first pediatric cases diagnosed in the nation. "The social networks that we have as humans mean that we have contact with a lot of different people."

While none of the monkeypox cases diagnosed in the US in adults have been fatal, the disease can still be extremely painful, with lesions making it difficult to swallow or go to the toilet.

There is a smallpox antiviral treatment that can be used for monkeypox, but getting it requires clinicians to file a fair amount of paperwork (the CDC has been working on reducing the paperwork providers have to file to get it.) Smallpox vaccines also work well at preventing monkeypox infections, and they are even recommended for people who've been recently exposed, but the US's supply of Jynneos (the safest smallpox vaccine) is still limited.

Read the original article on Insider