NewsDesk @bactiman63

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) has identified a case of monkeypox in a Maine resident under age 18. This is the first pediatric case of the disease in Maine. Nationally, at least two other states, California and Florida, have confirmed cases of monkeypox in people under age 18.

Image/ National Atlas of the United States

Maine CDC is currently reporting a total of three cases of monkeypox, including the pediatric case.

Maine has received the monkeypox vaccine, Jynneos, from the federal government and is making the vaccine available to close contacts of identified cases as well as those at risk of transmitting monkeypox or becoming severely ill. Under a recent emergency use authorization from the U.S. FDA, individuals under 18 may also receive Jynneos.

People who think they may have been exposed, or have a new or unexplained rash, should contact a health care provider, who can provide information about vaccination and test for monkeypox and provide treatment if appropriate.

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. Transmission of monkeypox requires close interaction with a symptomatic person. This includes close, physical, skin-to-skin contact. Monkeypox can cause a rash or sores (pox) and is sometimes preceded by a flu-like illness. In rare cases, it leads to severe illness and hospitalization. Monkeypox is rarely fatal.

Prevention of monkeypox is the best strategy:

  • 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.

According to the U.S. CDC, as of August 12, 2022, there have been 11,177 identified cases of monkeypox across the United States.