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First Children in US Test Positive for Monkeypox, CDC Chief Says Both Had Contact with Gay Men

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Two children in the U.S., a toddler in California and a non-resident infant in Washington, D.C., have been diagnosed with monkeypox, according to news reports.

Officials from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced the cases on Friday.

According to Axios, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky broke the news during a virtual event with The Washington Post. Both children had been in contact with “individuals who come from the men-who-have-sex-with-men community, the gay men’s community,” Walensky said, according to Axios.

Monkeypox is a disease that causes flu-like symptoms and skin lesions, according to the U.K. Guardian.

Epidemiologists are warning that a rising number of monkeypox cases across the world poses a serious risk to public health.

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Children are at “especially increased risk” to have a severe reaction to monkeypox disease, Axios reported.

Some countries experienced outbreaks prior to 2022 and, according to the World Health Organization, the disease is generally more deadly among the very young.

“The case fatality ratio of monkeypox has historically ranged from 0 to 11% in the general population and has been higher among young children,” WHO found.

Walensky noted on Friday that both infected children “are doing well.”

Do you trust health officials to tell the truth about monkeypox?

The infant was “transiting” through the United States when the test was done, ABC News reported. The agency did not identify the infant’s country of origin, ABC reported.

The CDC also released a statement confirming that the cases are unrelated to one another and are “likely the result of household transmission,” Axios reported.

The disease is not necessarily transmitted sexually and can be spread through close contact alone.

According to a 2022 study conducted in the U.K., approximately 96 percent of monkeypox diagnoses are found among men who have sex with other men.

According to The Associated Press, the current outbreak has been linked to gay raves in Spain and Belgium in the spring.

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In the U.S., monkeypox cases have broken out in New York City and San Francisco after gay “Pride” events for June.

Despite this, the messaging regarding monkeypox from public health experts has emphasized the idea that anyone can catch the disease.

In a commentary published Monday by The Washington Post, infectious disease journalist Benjamin Ryan, who has specialized in gay health issues for decades, pointed out that a lack of proper messaging could lead to more harm.

“This broad-strokes maxim — that everyone on Earth is susceptible to this troubling viral infection — might be factual on its surface. But it is so egregiously misleading it amounts to misinformation,” Ryan wrote.

“But as these public health experts know well, epidemiology is less concerned with whether someone could contract an infection; instead, the much more vital questions focus on which groups of people are most likely to be exposed to a pathogen, to contract it and why. In public health statistics, this is the study of relative risk.

“By reducing monkeypox risk to a simplistic binary equation, public health leaders are prioritizing fighting stigma over their duty to directly inform the public about the true contours and drivers of this global outbreak. In particular, they are failing to properly convey the seriousness of this burgeoning crisis to gay and bisexual men.”

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Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Birthplace
Ames, Iowa
Nationality
American
Education
Iowa State University
Topics of Expertise
Culture, Faith, Politics, Education, Entertainment




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