Thursday, September 8

What parents need to know about Monkeypox

Although there have been few cases of monkeypox in children, it is helpful to recognise the warning signs and understand how this virus spreads.

As if worrying about COVID wasn't enough, parents are now hearing about monkeypox and wondering if they should also be concerned. Despite the fact that almost all cases of monkeypox have occurred in adults, parents should be aware of the disease's symptoms and what they can do to protect their children.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a virus belonging to the same family as smallpox and chicken pox. Its name comes from the fact that it was first observed in monkeys, but it can infect other mammals, including humans. It is essential to remember that the illness is typically mild.

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

The incubation period, which is the time between exposure and the onset of illness, ranges from three to seventeen days. During this time, individuals feel good. Early signs of illness include flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, or mild cold symptoms. During this time, the illness could not be recognised as monkeypox because its symptoms are the same as those of many other viruses.

The rash appears within one to four days. It begins as a red mark, then develops into a bump that becomes fluid-filled, pus-filled, and scabbed before disappearing. The duration of the illness is two to four weeks. A person with monkey pox is contagious not only until the scabs have fallen off, but also until a new layer of skin has formed underneath them.

How is monkeypox transmitted?

Monkeypox is harder to contract than COVID. It spreads through direct contact with a monkeypox patient's rash, scabs, or bodily fluids (such as saliva). This is typically the result of close physical contact as opposed to casual contact.

Prolonged face-to-face interaction It can spread slowly via respiratory secretions.
touching materials or items that have come into contact with a sick person's rash, scabs, or bodily fluids.

What else do parents need to know about monkeypox?

As previously stated, there have been very few cases in children, and the risk to children is low overall. The most effective parental actions are:

Be aware of cases reported in your community. 

Tracing contacts will help you determine if you or your child have been exposed. 

If you or your child may have been exposed, discuss vaccination and other preventative measures with your doctor.

Ensure that your teen or young adult who is in a relationship is aware of monkeypox and how to protect themselves.

If your child participates in a sport that involves physical contact, shared equipment, or frequently used surfaces such as mats, ask the coach what measures will be taken to prevent illness. 

It may be as simple as not sharing equipment or towels and regularly wiping down surfaces.

Discuss with your child the importance of not sharing cups, utensils, and clothing. This is unlikely to expose them to monkeypox, but it may help them avoid other infections. Also, remind them to wash their hands frequently; this is the most effective way to prevent all types of infections!

Call your doctor immediately if your child develops a rash with fluid-filled or pus-filled bumps. Monkeypox may be more severe in children under the age of eight. There are available treatments, and the sooner a child receives them, the better. Remember, however, that childhood monkeypox is uncommon, so parents should not be overly concerned. The best thing to do is pay attention to what local public health officials say and do what they tell you to do.

You can find out more about monkeypox from your doctor, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the American Academy of Pediatrics.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used to replace direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained practitioner.
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