PORTLAND, Maine — The first case of pediatric monkeypox has been confirmed in the state of Maine, according to the Maine Center of Disease Control and Prevention.
The Maine CDC says the child is a Maine resident, but no other information about the minor has been released. Two other states, California and Florida, have seen cases of monkeypox in persons under the age of 18, the release states.
Monkeypox symptoms include a rash or sores, bumps, and lesions that are painful. Some people may also experience flu-like symptoms, a fever, or fatigue.
The virus spreads almost entirely through interpersonal, skin-to-skin contact, according to Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah.
"We're going to do what's best for people in Maine and try to minimize the chance that monkeypox spreads and maximize our chances of reducing the impact on those who are at risk," Shah told NEWS CENTER Maine on July 22.
"Right now, the risk [to] the general public is low. And that's a good thing. Our goal is to keep it that way. We want to make sure that those who are at a higher relative risk have what they need to stay safe."
In the Aug. 12 news release from the Maine CDC, the U.S. has surpassed 10,700 confirmed cases of monkeypox as of Thursday.
In the release issued Friday, Jackie Farwell of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services writes that a recent emergency use authorization from the U.S. FDA has permitted individuals under the age of 18 to receive the Jynneos vaccination.
Anyone who may have been exposed or who is experiencing a new or unexplained rash should contact their health care provider, Farwell writes.
The news release stated that preventative measures are the best way to mitigate the spread of monkeypox and listed the following recommendations:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have close, personal contact with a person with monkeypox.
- Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
- Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.