Two more children test positive for monkeypox: Indiana health officials confirm cases, bringing nationwide toll to four in children, including California toddler and D.C. child
- The Indiana Department of Health revealed the infections when it updated the number of cases
- But she declined to release further information, citing privacy concerns
- A toddler in California and a child in Washington DC also tested positive
- It raises concerns because children are believed to be more at risk of disease
Two children have tested positive for monkeypox in Indiana, state health officials revealed, bringing the number of young people in the U.S. to four.
India’s Ministry of Health reported the infection but declined to provide any further information, citing privacy.
He joins a toddler in California who contracted the virus and a child who tested positive while traveling through Washington, D.C. A pregnant woman was also found to be infected last week.
It is of concern because children under the age of eight are at higher risk of more severe monkeypox infection.
So far, more than 5,800 cases have been reported in America – the largest outbreak in the world, mostly among men and gay or bisexual men. But experts warn that the disease is likely to spread to other groups because it only requires physical contact to transmit it.
No deaths have been reported in the United States so far, but ten deaths have been registered worldwide, including four outside Africa. The two in Spain are said to be among the young men.
The map above shows countries that have detected monkeypox (yellow) and that have confirmed deaths from monkeypox (red). There have been ten victims worldwide so far
After the children’s cases were revealed last week, the state added: ‘No further information about the cases will be released at this time due to patient privacy.’
They did not say whether they were hospitalized or what treatments were offered.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention detected the first two cases in children a fortnight ago, but said both were “doing well” at the time. DailyMail.com has requested an update.
Timeline of monkeypox in the United States
1958: Monkeypox is discovered when a smallpox-like disease breaks out in monkeys kept for research.
1970: The first case of the disease in humans is recorded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was later found in a number of other countries in Central and West Africa.
2003: The former largest outbreak of monkeypox in the Americas has occurred. A total of 47 people became infected after contact with pet prairie dogs that became infected on the farm.
July 2021: A case of monkeypox identified in the US in a citizen recently returned from Nigeria.
November 2021: Monkeypox was detected in another US resident who recently returned from Nigeria.
May 2022: A man in Massachusetts is diagnosed with monkeypox, becoming the first case of the current epidemic. There are now more than 5,000 cases nationwide.
July 2022: Cases of monkeypox are being detected in children and pregnant women in the US, a sign it is spreading to other groups.
They are thought to be most likely to have contracted it from “household contacts”, which can include family members and visitors to where they live.
Dr Rochelle Walensky said both children had contact with gay or bisexual men – the community where most cases are currently being detected.
The two young people were given the antiviral drug TPOXX, which can help stop the infection in its tracks by disrupting the maturation of the virus.
Monkeypox infections have mostly involved adult males – who accounted for more than 99 percent of all cases last week.
However, experts repeatedly warn that the virus will spread to other groups because it only requires physical contact with the lesions to be transmitted.
This has raised concerns if it spreads to children, as evidence suggests they are at risk of more serious disease.
The World Health Organization warns that children – along with the elderly and pregnant women – are more at risk from monkeypox.
Scientific studies suggest that three to ten percent of young people with monkeypox will die from the disease, although this depends on the strain they catch.
Announcing the Indiana case, State Health Commissioner Dr Kris Box said: “Monkey pox is not easily spread by brief casual contact, but it is important to remember that anyone can be affected if they are in close contact with a positive case.
“Hoosiers who believe they may have been exposed or who develop symptoms consistent with monkeypox are encouraged to contact their health care providers.”
Indiana has the 17th largest monkeypox outbreak in the United States, with 54 infections to date. However, this has increased rapidly compared to two weeks ago, when only 11 cases were detected.
The largest outbreak is in New York, where 1,390 cases have now been identified, followed by California (827) and Illinois (520). Neither reported cases in children.