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Updated August 5, 2022

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Questions about Monkeypox? We know this has been featured in the news a lot lately so here are some FAQs.

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by a virus similar to the smallpox virus. It is rarely fatal. As of this writing, there have been about 4,900 cases reported in the US, only 4 in children.

Q: How Does it Spread?

Monkeypox is most often spread by very close and prolonged physical contact, like sexual encounters. We also see fomite transmission in very heavily contaminated areas (i.e patient’s hospital room or bedroom). There is likely some respiratory or droplet transmission if you are talking close to someone with painful, active lesions for a prolonged period of time.

Q: What are the Symptoms?

The most common sign of monkeypox in children is a rash that progresses from red, flat or slightly raised lesions to vesicles, pustules, and finally scabs. The rash may be located on or near the genitals or anus but could also be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth. Symptoms can also include fever, fatigue, headaches, body aches, cough, and cold.

Most infections in children are mild. Children and adolescents may need treatment if they have severe disease or complications or if they are at risk of severe disease.

Q: How Can it Be Prevented?

Like all illnesses, wash your hands frequently. Also, avoid close contact (skin to skin) with someone who has monkey pox.

Q: Is There Treatment or Vaccine Available?

There are no specific treatments for monkeypox, but it is so genetically similar to smallpox, that antivirals and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox virus infections. Antivirals and vaccines are almost exclusively approved for people over 18, after consultation with the CDC.

Q: What Does All of This Mean for My Child?

Monkeypox is a rare disease, most often seen in adults, primarily spread by close physical contact. The risk to children anywhere right now is very low.

Your child is more likely to get other common viral illnesses in the community, like hand, foot & mouth; COVID; or the common cold. Continue to take reasonable precautions - wash hands frequently, wear a mask around others, avoid large crowds, and seek medical care if your child is ill.

For More Information.

See these resource pages from the CDC(opens in a new tab) and the AAP(opens in a new tab).

Please check back on this page as we will update this information if anything changes. If you have specific questions, please send a portal message to your provider.