First Juvenile Monkeypox Case Reported in Maine, Third Case Nationwide
A rare case of monkeypox in a juvenile has been reported in Maine.
The Maine CDC did not disclosed the age, gender, or county of residence of the juvenile. The state's first reported case of Monkeypox was in York County.
Juvenile cases have only been reported in two other states, California and Florida, according to the Maine CDC. The federal CDC is not reporting the number of pediatric cases.
The state is making the monkeypox vaccine, called Jynneos, available to close contacts of identified cases as well as those at risk of transmitting monkeypox or becoming severely ill. Individuals under the age of 18 may receive the monkeypox vaccination.
The federal CDC reported 3 cases of monkeypox in Maine, 15 in New Hampshire, and 202 in Massachusetts as of Thursday.
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same group of viruses as smallpox. Transmission of monkeypox requires close interaction with a symptomatic person. It is rarely fatal.
Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, exhaustion, muscle aches, sore throat, cough, and swollen lymph nodes. A few days after the start of these symptoms, a skin rash or spots appear that change over time. Those with monkeypox are contagious until all skin lesions have scabbed over and fallen off a person’s skin.
With a limited supply of vaccines, prevention of monkeypox is the best strategy:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle, or have sex with a person with monkeypox.
- Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
President Joe Biden declared the spread of monkeypox a public health emergency on August 4.
“President Biden has called on us to explore every option on the table to combat the monkeypox outbreak and protect communities at risk,” White House National Monkeypox Response Coordinator Robert Fenton said in a statement. “We are applying lessons learned from the battles we’ve fought – from COVID response to wildfires to measles, and will tackle this outbreak with the urgency this moment demands.”