First Pediatric Monkeypox Case Reported in NH
New Hampshire has recorded its first pediatric case of monkeypox, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.
The case was diagnosed in a Manchester child who became infected after exposure to a member of their household diagnosed with monkeypox. The child has mild illness and is isolating at home.
DHHS and the Manchester Health Department are working on contact tracing to identify others who may have had contact with the child for a prolonged period of time. Those individuals will be contacted by a public health official to discuss treatment options and the monkeypox vaccine called JYNNEROS, according to state Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan.
He stressed that the risk to the general school population and others in the community is very low.
“Monkeypox virus is spread primarily through direct physical contact to another person with monkeypox who has developed infectious skin lesions,” Chan said.
The majority of people infected with the monkeypox virus during the 2022 outbreak have been adults. However, the CDC reports at least 27 children and adolescents under the age of 16 years across the U.S. who have developed monkeypox.
As of Friday, the CDC reports 27 total reported cases of monkeypox in New Hampshire, 9 in Maine, and 364 in Massachusetts. One juvenile case was reported in Maine in August.
Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, exhaustion, muscle aches, sore throat, cough, and swollen lymph nodes. A few days after the start of these symptoms, a skin rash or spots appear that change over time. Those with monkeypox are very contagious until all skin lesions have scabbed over and fallen off a person’s skin.
Symptoms are usually mild, but in rare cases a more severe illness can occur that might require hospitalization. The illness usually lasts for 2-4 weeks.