A Dutch child under ten has tested positive for monkeypox after a family holiday in Turkey – the first confirmed pediatric case in the current outbreak of the tropical virus.
The unnamed youngster was taken to Emma Children’s Hospital in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in late June, complaining of rashes.
Doctors counted 20 lesions on his face, ears, forearms, thighs and back, but the patient had no fever or swollen lymph nodes.
Within a week, the virus in his body had dropped to undetectable levels and he made a full recovery. None of his close contacts have tested positive for monkeypox.
It’s unclear how he became infected, but tests ruled out it was sexual abuse. The family of five said they had no close contact with other guests while on vacation and put their own towels on chairs and loungers.
His parents, one of his siblings and a friend – all of whom were considered high risk – were vaccinated with the Jynneous jab, which is used in America.
The report comes as the United States confirms its first two cases of the tropical virus in the United States, as confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The youngster – who has not been named – was taken to Emma Children’s Hospital in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, at the end of June, complaining of rashes (the photo is one of the first on his jaw )
More than 20 rashes broke out on his body, they said
Pictured above is one of the rashes that appeared on her arm
Doctors at the Dutch hospital revealed the diagnosis on Thursday in the journal Eurosurveillance.
Dr Marceline van Furth, who led the investigation, said they were publicizing the case to “raise awareness…that monkeypox can develop in children”.
Those who warned children – alongside older adults and pregnant women – are most vulnerable to monkeypox, with around three per cent dying from the infection.
More than 16,000 cases have been detected worldwide in the current outbreak, mostly in gay or bisexual men who contracted the disease through sexual contact.
Experts fear the disease has likely already spread to other populations, but has yet to be detected due to a lack of testing.
Monkeypox does not require sexual contact to spread and is spread primarily through close physical contact or through scabs that stick to towels or bedding. In rare cases, it can also be transmitted through the air.
America has detected 2,500 cases in the current outbreak – the second-highest tally in the world behind Spain alone at 3,000. The Netherlands has spotted 700, while Turkey has detected just one single case.
Monkey pox timeline
1958: Monkeypox was discovered when an outbreak of a smallpox-like disease occurred in monkeys kept for research.
1970: The first human case of the disease is recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was later detected in a number of other Central and West African countries.
2003: America’s largest ancient monkeypox outbreak occurs. A total of 47 people are infected after coming into contact with prairie dogs that contracted the disease on a farm.
July 2021: Case of monkeypox detected in the United States in a citizen who recently returned from Nigeria.
November 2021: Monkeypox is detected in another US resident recently returned from Nigeria.
May 2022: A Massachusetts man is diagnosed with monkeypox, becoming the first case in the current outbreak. There are now more than 2,000 cases nationwide.
The Dutch monkeypox patient first realized he was sick shortly after returning from Turkey, when he noticed two small red skin lesions on his left cheek and jaw.
Her doctor initially diagnosed her with mild ringworm – a medical term for a fungal infection – and prescribed her an antifungal cream.
But when more lesions appeared, the doctor feared he had impetigo – a bacterial infection that causes sores on the body – and gave him antibiotics.
When they continued to appear on his ear, forearm, thighs and back, the boy was sent back to hospital with a suspected case of monkeypox – the hospital swabs being positive.
His parents and two siblings were later also tested for the virus, but all tested negative.
Dutch health authorities vaccinated both parents, a brother and a friend who were considered at “high risk” of being infected. None subsequently developed the virus.
An investigation was launched to determine where the child had caught the disease, but it was inconclusive.
There was no evidence that the child had been near a suspected or confirmed case of monkeypox before catching the disease.
Parents also said they took care while on vacation to use their own towels and did not have close contact with other guests, limiting the risk of transmission.
Analyzes revealed that the strain caught by the boy was the same one circulating in the current outbreak in Europe.
In the journal, the doctors wrote: ‘As no plausible source could be identified, this leaves us with an open question regarding transmission.
“In the current epidemic, the predominant route of transmission is sexual activity in the community of men who have sex with men.
“However, other indirect transmission routes have been described, such as respiratory transmission through droplets or contaminated materials such as bedding and towels.
“Therefore, it is possible that the child was in close contact with an infectious person or a contaminated object that was not recognized as such.”
They said it usually takes about eight and a half days for someone infected with monkeypox to start showing symptoms.
But suggested it was probably longer – up to 21 days – for the boy because the route of transmission was different.
He had traveled to Turkey three weeks before the symptoms appeared.
His parents said the boy had chicken pox when he was five years old.
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