Alarming Monkeypox Transmission: Cases Reported Among Kids, Non-Sexual Contacts

The latest monkeypox outbreak update revealed that a small number of cases comprised kids and non-sexial contacts. 

According to Dr. Hans Kluge, a small number of confirmed monkeypox cases among household members accounted for non-sexual contacts and children.

In the update released Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for Europe urged everyone to increase their efforts in containing the situation. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has planned a protocol that would expand monkeypox vaccine use to children if needed, Bloomberg reported. The vaccine (Bavarian Nordic A/S’s Jynneos) is only cleared for adult use and is considered safer than Emergent BioSolutions Inc.’s ACAM2000 smallpox vaccine.

Kluge noted that preliminary numbers showed men who have sex with men comprise a big part of the cases. 

The U.K. Health Security Agency (UKHSA) incident director Dr. Sophia Makki urged everyone who attended the Pride events to be vigilant and check for any blister-like spots and rashes. 

In a data report released last Friday, the UKHSA said that as of June 30, the U.K. had documented at least 1,235 confirmed cases.

But with infections growing in the U.S. and 31 other countries in the European region, concerns about other populations are also increasing. Global cases have reached 5,800, per the CDC, with one death reported. With almost half of the infections locally acquired, the domestic spread could also slowly rise.

Kluge stated that there is no room for complacency, for "the outbreak, at this stage, should be determined to not constitute a public health emergency of international concern." The label was last used for COVID-19 when it was declared a PHEIC on Jan. 30, 2020.

The decision not to declare an emergency would be reassessed after a few weeks by the committee if factors like a significant mutation of the disease, an increase in cases, or an increase in more vulnerable groups like children come into play.

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, alongside the committee, agreed that the outbreak should be monitored closely.

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