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After infecting nearly 3,000 people in the United States, two children have now contracted the monkeypox virus. The two children — an infant and a toddler — were on opposite coasts of the U.S. when diagnosed.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky disclosed the news that two children became infected with monkeypox this week, the Washington Post reported. She added that the two cases are unrelated and occurred in California and Washington, D.C.
Walensky reports the infections could be the result of household transmission. The two cases involved a toddler in California and an infant in Washington, D.C., she said. The infant is traveling with a family who are not residents of the United States.
During the interview with the Post, Walensky added that the two cases link to households “from the men who have sex with men community.” Investigations are ongoing to understand the connections to that community.
“Both of those children are traced back to individuals who come from the men-who-have-sex-with-men community, the gay men’s community,” Walensky told the newspaper in a virtual interview.
“While both children have monkeypox symptoms, they are in good health,” Director Walensky said. She added that the children are receiving antiviral treatments for the disease.
Dr. Jennifer McQuiston, the CDC’s deputy director for the division of high-consequence pathogens and pathology told Reuters she is not surprised that pediatric cases of monkeypox emerged. However, 99 percent of the 2,891 monkeypox cases in the United States involve men who have sex with men. She added there have been a handful of cases where women and transgender men became infected.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the monkeypox outbreak to be a global health emergency during a meeting on Saturday, Breitbart News reported. White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said the U.S. is still considering where to declare a public health emergency in the U.S., according to Reuters.