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Monkeypox Infection Rare in Children, Adolescents Younger Than 18

Monkeypox virus infection among <18s accounted for 0.3 percent of reported cases; most children were not hospitalized

MONDAY, Nov. 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Monkeypox infection is rare among children and adolescents, and infections are usually not severe, according to research published in the Nov. 4 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Ian Hennessee, Ph.D., from the CDC Monkeypox Emergency Response Team, and colleagues examined data on monkeypox in children and adolescents aged younger than 18 years to characterize epidemiologic and clinical features.

The researchers found that during May 17 to Sept. 24, 2022, 25,038 monkeypox cases were reported in the United States; during this period, Monkeypox virus infections were identified in 83 persons aged younger than 18 years, accounting for 0.3 percent of reported cases. Twenty-eight children aged 0 to 12 years had monkeypox; 64 percent were boys and most had direct skin-to-skin contact with an adult with monkeypox caring for the child in the household setting. Of the 55 adolescents aged 13 to 17 years with monkeypox, 89 percent were male, and the most common presumed exposure route was male-to-male sexual contact (66 percent). Most of the children and adolescents with monkeypox were non-Hispanic Black or African American and Hispanic or Latino (47 and 35 percent, respectively). Eighty-nine percent of the children were not hospitalized, none received intensive care unit-level care, and there were no deaths.

“Public health messaging should emphasize transmission prevention guidelines for persons with monkeypox who interact with newborns, infants, and children in household settings,” the authors write.

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