New York Daily News: By Chris Sommerfeldt – The city reported its first juvenile monkeypox case on Friday — less than two weeks before hundreds of thousands of young New Yorkers are set to return to classrooms for the fall semester.
The young patient, whose name, age and gender was withheld, contracted the viral disease from a “household contact”, according to Dr Ashwin Vasan, the city Department of Health commissioner.
“While we understand the concerns of families, we also know that the overall risk of exposure for children in the city remains very low,” Vasan said in a statement.
As of Friday afternoon, 2,888 cases of monkeypox had been confirmed in the city, though public health officials have acknowledged that the figure is likely much higher due to limited testing capacities. No monkeypox deaths have been reported in the U.S.
The current monkeypox outbreak has mostly impacted men who have sex with men. However, the virus can infect anyone, as it spreads primarily via skin-to-skin contact.
City officials have closely monitored monkeypox transmission ahead of the Sept. 8 start of the public school year, with some raising concern about the possibility that kids could spread it at a faster clip in classroom settings.
The virus was first detected in monkeys in the 1950s, thereby its name. Before this year, monkeypox outbreaks have largely been limited to the African continent.
Vaccines against the virus are available, but in short supply, and the city is currently reserving most of its doses for gay and bisexual men and transgender people.
Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, chills, body aches and blister-like rashes.
The Department of Health is cautioning that rashes and sores can have many causes, like bug bites, pimples, allergic reactions and other infections. Still, the department encourages individuals to get evaluated by a clinical provider if they’re concerned they may have contracted the monkeypox virus.
Top Feature Photo: The monkeypox vaccine is seen inside a cooler during a vaccination clinic at the OASIS Wellness Center, Friday, Aug 19, 2022, in New York – Mary Altaffer/AP