Maine reports first case of pediatric monkeypox

Maine reports first case of pediatric monkeypox


Health officials said cases in people under the age of 18 remain rare, and the risk to the public is low.

Health officials on Friday announced Maine’s first case of pediatric monkeypox.

Maine is now the third U.S. state to report a case of monkeypox in a person under the age of 18 — the other states are California and Florida. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) said the risk to the public is low and that cases in those under 18 remain rare. 

Because the patient is a minor, health officials did not release details about their case. The child is just the third person in the state to be identified with the virus, according to the Portland Press Herald. Maine CDC said it’s working to identify anyone who may have been exposed to the virus after coming in contact with the infected youth.

Maine obtained the monkeypox vaccine, Jynneos, from the federal government and is offering it to close contacts of identified cases as well as people at risk of transmitting the virus or becoming severely ill. A recent FDA emergency use authorization opened up the vaccine to pediatric patients.

The virus is part of the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. Transmission requires close contact with a symptomatic person, such as skin-to-skin contact. Symptoms include a flu-like illness and a rash of sores. Health officials say monkeypox is rarely fatal.

Anyone who thinks they’ve been exposed to the virus — or have an unexplained rash — should contact a health care provider. 

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