The Oregon Health Authority says it has identified the state’s first case of monkeypox in a child. OHA said it is linked to an adult monkeypox case that was confirmed in July.
“This child did not get the virus at school, child care or another community setting,” Dean Sidelinger, M.D., health officer and state epidemiologist at OHA, said in a statement.
OHA did not release any other details about the child or how they were connected to the infected adult in order to protect the patient’s confidentiality.
It did say the child was tested last Thursday and results were reported to public health officials on Monday. Contact tracing and a case investigation were launched to see if anyone else was exposed.
OHA acknowledged some parents may be concerned about the spread of monkeypox as the school year nears. Sidelinger stressed in his statement that the risk of monkeypox spreading at school is low. He said its most-commonly spread through direct contact with the rash, scabs or body fluids of a person with the virus.
“Monkeypox is not COVID-19. This virus is not easily spread unless you have that prolonged, close, skin-to-skin contact with an infected person,” Sidelinger said.
As of Wednesday, there are 116 presumptive and confirmed monkeypox cases in Oregon. OHA said. All but four are in men.
None of the cases are in Central Oregon.
Cases by county:
- Multnomah – 73
- Lane – 20
- Washington – 16
- Clackamas – 4
- Columbia – 1
- Coos – 1
- Marion – 1
The onset of the illnesses in these cases was between June 7 and Aug. 9.
Here is more information from OHA:
Symptoms of the virus can include fever, swollen lymph nodes, chills, headache, muscle aches and fatigue. Not everyone will have these symptoms, but everyone will experience a rash or sores. The rash can affect the skin of the face, arms, legs and torso, as well as the genitals, in and/or around the anus (butthole), or in the mouth.
Initially, the rash can look like a pimple with an area of red skin underneath it. From there, the pimples can get a little bigger, form indentations, and fill with fluid or pus. Typically, they then scab. It usually takes two to four weeks to heal over with fresh skin.
OHA recommends people who test positive for monkeypox or who are awaiting test results isolate at home to avoid spread of infection to others. There are additional precautions they and household members can take to further reduce transmission risk that can be found on OHA’s If a clinician recommends that you receive an Orthopoxvirus test page. The CDC also has information on its Preventing Spread to Others page.
People who suspect they have monkeypox should contact their health care provider to let them know before going in to be seen. Those who don’t have a health care provider can call 2-1-1 to get help finding a clinic or health care provider, or reach out to their local public health authority to find a clinic or provider.