Two more children in the US test positive for monkeypox

Officials have confirmed that at least four children in the United States have tested positive for monkeypox.

Amid growing cases across the country, Indiana officials confirmed late last week that two children had been tested for monkeypox. At this time, the Indiana Department of Health wrote in a statement, no additional information was made available due to patient privacy concerns.

“Like many other states, Indiana has seen an increase in monkeypox cases over the past month,” state health commissioner Dr. Chris Box said in a statement.

Federal officials confirmed earlier, last month, that two other children in the United States had tested positive for monkeypox.

One case was confirmed in a young California resident, and another case was reported in an infant, a non-US resident, who was tested while traveling through Washington, DC. It was most likely the result of transmission at home.

Although no information is available about the current status of children infected with the virus in Indiana, both of the other children, who have been diagnosed with monkeypox, have been said to be in good health.

However, there are concerns among health officials about how monkeypox might affect young children.

Over the weekend, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned in a health warning that there is some preliminary evidence that children as young as 8 could develop a more serious illness, if they contract monkeypox.

Epidemiologist Ryan Shatlin conducts a monkeypox training for health investigators at the Salt Lake County Health Department, on July 29, 2022, in Salt Lake City.

Rick Bomer/AFP

At this time, the majority of locally and globally confirmed monkey cases in the current outbreak have been detected in gay and bisexual men or other men who have sex with men. However, health officials have repeatedly stressed that the virus does not discriminate, and anyone exposed to monkeypox can contract the virus.

People are most commonly infected by direct interpersonal contact, including intimate contact, although it is also possible to spread the disease through respiratory secretions or by “touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels),” and surfaces that It was used by someone who had monkeypox,” according to the CDC.

The news of cases of monkeypox in children comes amid increasing pressure from officials across the country on the United States to announce the public health emergence of the outbreak.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker declared in a press release Monday that Illinois has become the second state in the country to declare monkeypox a public health emergency, and thus, Illinois is a “disaster zone” for the virus.

“[Monkeypox virus] It is a rare but serious disease that requires the full mobilization of all available public health resources to prevent its spread,” Pritzker wrote in a statement. “That is why I am declaring a state of emergency to ensure smooth coordination between state agencies and all levels of government, thereby rapidly increasing our ability to prevent and treat disease.”

The governor’s announcement will allow the Illinois Department of Public Health to expand access to resources, such as vaccines and tests, in the state’s efforts to combat the virus.

“We have seen that this virus disproportionately affects the LGBTQ+ community in its initial spread. Here in Illinois, we will ensure that the LGBTQ+ community has the resources they need to stay safe while ensuring that members are not stigmatized while they access critical health care,” Pritzker added.

Last week, New York became the first state to declare monkeypox a “catastrophic emergency,” with officials calling New York City the “epicentre of the outbreak.”

Across the country, officials in San Francisco have also implemented a local emergency declaration for monkeypox.

Globally, more than 22,000 cases have been reported globally, including nearly 5,200 cases reported in the United States, according to the CDC.

Cases of monkeypox have now been reported in nearly every state in the country, with only Montana, Vermont and Wyoming now having cases yet to be confirmed.

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