Kids In Several Countries Are Reportedly Contracting Monkeypox
Monkeypox is quickly becoming a widespread problem, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) even declaring it a global health emergency on 23 Jul.
Although most of the cases have occurred in men who have had sexual relations with other men, children are now apparently contracting the disease too.
According to Bloomberg, more than 80 kids across several countries have been infected with monkeypox.
While the number is alarming to some, it’s only a tiny fraction of the 18,000 cases worldwide.
Kids contracted monkeypox through household contacts
Among the 80 cases so far, Bloomberg notes that most of the children contracted the disease through household contacts.
However, Dr Jay Varma, a professor of population health sciences, cautions that these social networks are not self-contained and run the risk of ‘bridging’ to other networks.
That said, anyone can contract the disease, even though the primary mode of transmission has been sexual.
Contact, in the form of sharing clothes, towels, or even touching sores or prolonged skin-to-skin touches can infect people, explains Dr Varma.
Schools & daycare centres may also carry the disease
Children in schools and daycare centres may be especially vulnerable as they are potential hotspots for viruses.
As history has shown, these locations tend to facilitate the spread of infections such as rashes or hand, foot and mouth disease.
Dr Varma warns that some children will inevitably catch the disease yet still attend school, likely unaware of their infections.
Whether such a scenario could lead to an outbreak is uncertain, but if it does, it could be difficult to contain.
Monkeypox treatments available for children
Dr Rosamund Lewis, the WHO’s technical lead on monkeypox, says that most children who have contracted the disease have shared a home with infected people.
However, some cases appear not to have any links to others.
This indicates that the infection could come from the community, states Bloomberg.
Thankfully, vaccines are available as treatments for monkeypox. They can also be used to treat kids when necessary.
In spite of that, the United States has yet to develop a plan in the event that infections spread rapidly among kids.
On a larger scale, WHO is reportedly monitoring the potential for a spread among children closely.
Stay alert & keep infections at bay
Though news of children being at risk of infection is no doubt concerning, it seems like there’s no reason to worry for now.
Cases in Singapore have mainly involved adults so far, so let’s hope no young ones will join the statistics soon.
Nevertheless, there’s no harm staying alert and monitoring your kids’ health.
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Featured image adapted from Chennai Print.