FL reports monkeypox infection in infant; case linked to household exposure

By: - September 20, 2022 1:11 pm

Monkeypox. Credit: World Health Organization.

Last month, caregivers took an infant less than two months old with a rash to the emergency department at a Florida hospital. Within two days, lesions had spread to the soles of the child’s feet, eyelid, and elsewhere.

Now testing has confirmed it was monkeypox, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC report, released Monday, highlighted the epidemiologic investigation involving the young child, including treatments given and contact tracing. The child received treatments including the antiviral tecovirimat and now has “fully recovered,” the agency says.

Currently, data from the Florida Department of Health show one confirmed monkeypox infection in the 0-4 age group in Brevard County.

However, numerous media outlets, including the Florida Phoenix, wrote earlier in August that a Martin County monkeypox case had been reported in the 0 to 4 age group. However, that Martin County case apparently is no longer posted on the Florida Department of Health. The Phoenix has asked the department about what happened about the Martin case.

Other cases among young children and teenagers include 25 infections in the 15-19 age group as well as 148 among patients aged 20-24, as of the latest report Tuesday.

Overall, public health officials have reported 2,411 cases across 41 Florida counties, with South Florida continuing to see the most infections. The virus that has been spreading worldwide has caused deaths in other countries and the first known U.S. death was reported in Los Angeles County, Calif.

As for the pediatric case in Florida, the young patient likely contracted the disease through contact with a caregiver in the household or household items, according to the CDC report.

The caregiver had reported “activities that placed him at high risk for monkeypox exposure during the two months preceding the infant’s illness,” the report says. The caregiver suffered a fever and a rash “within the three weeks before the infant’s symptom onset,” it adds.

“Possible routes of transmission included shared bed linens and skin-to-skin contact through holding and daily care activities,” the CDC noted.

To date, the CDC has confirmed 27 cases in pediatric patients ages 0–15 throughout the nation. “Clinical presentations in children with monkeypox have been similar to those in adults, although children might have a higher risk for severe disease,” CDC noted.

Meanwhile, federal health officials have been seeing increases in cases among non-Hispanic Black men and Latino men, although new cases have been decreasing throughout the nation.

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Issac Morgan
Issac Morgan

Issac Morgan is a 2009 graduate of Florida A&M University's School of Journalism, and a proud native of Tallahassee. He has covered city council and community events at the Gadsden County Times, worked as a sports news assistant at the Tallahassee Democrat, a communications specialist for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and as a proofreader at the Florida Law Weekly.