Two MORE children catch monkeypox in Indiana, health officials reveal

Two children have tested positive for monkeypox in Indiana, state health officials have revealed bringing the U.S. tally among youngsters to four. The Indiana Department of Health announced the infections, but refused to give any further information citing privacy concerns.

They join a toddler in California who has caught the virus, and a baby who tested positive while traveling through Washington D.C. A pregnant woman was also found to have been infected last week.

It raises concerns because children under the age of eight years are at higher risk of a more severe monkeypox infection.

More than 5,800 cases have been spotted in America so far — the biggest outbreak in the world, mostly among men and gay or bisexual individuals. But experts warn the disease will likely spill over into other groups because it only requires physical touch to be passed on.

No deaths have yet been recorded in the United States, but ten fatalities have been registered worldwide including four out of Africa. The two in Spain are reported to be among young men.

The above map shows countries that have detected monkeypox (yellow) and that have confirmed a monkeypox death (red). There have been ten fatalities globally so far

Revealing the cases in children last week, the state added: ‘No additional information about the cases will be released at this time due to patient privacy.’

They did not say whether they had been hospitalized, or what treatments they were being offered.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed the first two cases in children a fortnight ago, but said both were ‘doing well’ at the time. DailyMail.com has asked for an update.

Timeline of monkeypox in the United States

1958: Monkeypox is discovered when an outbreak of pox-like disease occurred in monkeys kept for research.

1970: First human case of the disease is recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was later detected in a number of other central and western African countries.

2003: America’s former largest monkeypox outbreak occurs. A total of 47 people are infected after having contact with pet prairie dogs that picked up the disease at a farm.

July, 2021: Monkeypox case detected in the U.S. in a citizen who had recently returned from Nigeria.

November, 2021: Monkeypox is detected in another U.S. resident who recently returned from Nigeria.

May, 2022: A man in Massachusetts is diagnosed with monkeypox, becoming the first case in the current outbreak. There are now more than 5,000 cases nationwide.

July, 2022: Monkeypox cases are detected in children and a pregnant woman in the U.S., in a sign it is spreading to other groups.

It is thought they most likely became infected from ‘household contacts’, which can include family members as well as visitors to where they live.

Dr Rochelle Walensky said both the children had contact with gay or bisexual men — the community where most cases are being detected currently.

The two youngsters were receiving the antiviral TPOXX, which can help stop an infection in its tracks by interfering with how the virus matures.

Monkeypox infections have been mostly confined to adult men — who were behind more than 99 percent of total cases last week.

But experts are repeatedly warning the virus will spill over into other groups because it only requires physical contact with lesions to transmit.

This has sparked concern if it spreads to children, because evidence suggests they are at risk of more severe disease.

The World Health Organization warns that children — alongside older people and pregnant women — are more at risk from monkeypox.

Scientific studies suggest that between three and ten percent of youngsters with monkeypox die from the disease, although this depends on the strain they catch.

Announcing the case in Indiana, state health commissioner Dr Kris Box said: ‘Monkeypox does not easily spread through brief casual contact, but it’s important to remember that anyone can be affected if they are a close contact of a positive case.

‘Hoosiers who believe they may have been exposed or who develop symptoms consistent with monkeypox are urged to contact a healthcare provider.’

Indiana has the 17th biggest monkeypox outbreak in the United States, with 54 infections recorded to date. But this has grown rapidly from two weeks ago, when there were just 11 cases detected.

The biggest outbreak is in New York City where 1,390 cases have now being detected followed by California (827) and Illinois (520). Neither has declared cases in children.

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