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Twin Viral Concerns Of COVID-19 And Monkeypox In Kids: What Parents Should Know

Parents are concerned about the twin viral concerns of COVID-19 and monkeypox, especially in children younger than 12 years of age - especially because certain countries, like Israel, the United States, and the United Kingdom, have begun vaccinating children at this age against COVID-19. Even though two vaccines have been approved (Covaxin and Corbevax), India has not yet decided on the matter [1].

"We are seeing an increasing number of children with the COVID-19 illness who have been unprotected, and many children are getting exposed because they're going out now with the family... Children are not vaccinated, and they're also going to school where they're exposed to people and adults who are vaccinated might be asymptomatically carrying or infecting children," an expert said to a news publication [2].

Twin Viral Concerns Of COVID-19 And Monkeypox In Kids: What We Know So Far

  • Although monkeypox remains a lesser concern, experts have advised vaccinating children against COVID-19.
  • As the first case of monkeypox in the WHO South-East Asia Region has been reported from India, AIIMS' Department of Medicine Additional Professor Piyush Ranjan assured that there is no need to worry. Still, he cautioned that monkeypox could be fatal for children, unlike the covid virus [3].
  • According to a recent article in The Lancet, Child and Adolescent Health, complications can occur when children are infected with monkeypox. Even in high-income countries, such as the United States, where only two severe presentations were observed during the 2003 outbreak, monkeypox outbreaks have caused increased mortality and hospitalization rates for children [4].
  • Vaccination against monkeypox is not required in India at present as long as strict isolation is maintained, hand washing is carried out, and social distancing is maintained, as well as the use of other individuals' utensils and fomites (possibly infected items such as clothing, bedding, etc.) [5].
  • A second expert noted that monkeypox is much less contagious than COVID-19 or other childhood viruses such as influenza and RSV [respiratory syncytial virus] [6].
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that some children, including infants, children under eight and those with skin conditions, such as eczema, and those who are immunocompromised, may be at greater risk of serious illness if they contract monkeypox [7].

Man Tests Positive For Monkeypox, COVID-19 And HIV At The Same Time

An Italian 36-year-old man has reportedly tested positive for monkeypox, COVID-19, and HIV simultaneously in the first known case.

The patient, whose name has not been disclosed in the Journal of Infection, developed fever, a sore throat, fatigue, headache, and inflammation of the groin area nine days after returning from a five-day trip to Spain. Three days after developing symptoms, the man tested positive for Coronavirus [8].

Despite a small scar, the man recovered from COVID-19 and monkeypox. A treatment program was initiated for his HIV infection.

On A Final Note...

Even though there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 and monkeypox co-existing in children, authorities recommend that hygiene precautions be maintained.

In areas with monkeypox, the Center for Disease Control recommends avoiding contact with animals (including sick and dead animals). In addition, you must avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that have come into contact with sick animals; isolate patients who are infected from others who may also become infected, and practice good hand hygiene after contact with infected animals or humans and use PPE when caring for patients.

Although masks are not mandatory, experts advise practising hand hygiene and getting vaccinated to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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