To date very few children have been affected by monkeypox, but the risk is higher in children 8 years of age and younger.

monkey smallpox

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Children 8 years of age and younger should be considered a high-risk group for more severe monkeypox, reports Journal of Pediatric Infectious DiseasesOfficial journal of the European Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

As assessed by Petra Zimmermann, MD, Ph.D., University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and Nigel Curtis, Ph.D. , of the University of Melbourne and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Australia. They provide an expert opinion on “What pediatricians need to know” about monkey smallpox young.

Past outbreaks have raised concerns about the risk of monkeypox in young children

As of August 2022, nearly 47,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported worldwide. Of these, only 211 were in children and adolescents under the age of 18. In the current outbreak, the monkeypox virus appears to have spread largely through sex or other close contact. The role of other routes of transmission, including through droplets and contaminated surfaces and objects, remains to be determined.

The outbreak reflects low population immunity due to low vaccination rates against smallpox; Smallpox and monkeypox are both bacilli viruses. Most cases of monkeypox are “self-limited,” with the rash progressing and resolving within 2 to 4 weeks. However, symptoms may be mild or absent, leading to missed diagnoses and the potential for further spread.

Although the rates reported in children are low to date, there are particular concerns about the complications and other serious outcomes of monkeypox in children. “Children are reported to have increased hospitalizations and increased mortality, even in high-income countries,” said Dr. Zimmermann and Curtis write. Based mainly on data from low-income countries, children under 8 years of age are particularly at increased risk for complications, including possible serious bacterial infections. Young children may also be more at risk for complications related to scratching and spreading the infection to other parts of the body, including the eyes.

Most patients with monkeypox recover with supportive care. However, more specific treatment is needed for severe cases and high-risk groups – especially children under 8 years of age and people with underlying skin conditions. Other vulnerable groups include pregnant womenimmunocompromised patients and those with eczema or monkeypox rash near the mouth, eyes, and genitals.

In these high-risk cases, treatment options include antivirals such as tecovirimat, which are active against rectal viruses; and vaccine immune globulin (VIG), used to treat complications from smallpox vaccination. However, “None of these treatments have been shown to be effective against human monkeypox virus in clinical trialsand they are currently only recommended after consultation with national health authorities,” the reviewers wrote.

Smallpox vaccination is effective in preventing smallpox in monkeys, although the duration of protection is unknown. Because of habit smallpox vaccination discontinued after smallpox was eradicated — in 1972 in the United States — many people were never vaccinated. A new vaccine (MVA-BN) has been approved by the FDA to prevent monkeypox, but it has not been “licensed or rigorously evaluated” in children.

For children exposed to monkey smallpox virus, drugs or vaccines to prevent monkeypox have been recommended, again with “very limited data.” The reviewers also discussed some special considerations in pregnant/breastfeeding women and infants born to infected women.

Especially since monkeypox can be asymptomatic, outbreaks can go unchecked and spread to vulnerable groupsconsists of children. In that case, “additional emergency steps” would be necessary — with chickenpox vaccine play an important role. “Smallpox vaccination protects against smallpox in monkeys,” Dr. Zimmermann and Curtis conclude. “If the current outbreak spreads to kidsThe authorities need to prepare to quickly deploy vaccination for this age group. ”

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More information:
Smallpox – What pediatricians need to know, DOI: 10.1097 / INF.0000000000003720 ,… eed_to_Know.229.aspx

Quote: So far very few children have been affected by monkeypox, but risk is higher in children 8 years of age and younger (2022, October 28) accessed October 29, 2022 from https: // -younger.html

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