Transmission of monkeypox in children very unlikely, experts say

Ana Rivera Image
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
Should parents be worried about Monkeypox as the school year starts?
Five children across the country have tested positive for the virus.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Thousands of students are already back in the classroom and in a few weeks even more will return. Some parents may be concerned as we see some positive monkeypox cases in children, but experts say you shouldn't be alarmed.

At least five children have tested positive for monkeypox since July. None of those cases are in North Carolina.

Children younger than 8 years old are at an increased risk to develop more severe illness if they do test positive for monkeypox, according to the CDC.

Even as cases rise, doctors say there's no need to panic because the virus is spread through skin-to-skin contact. Transmission in schools and daycares is very unlikely.

"I think there are two possibilities. Again older adolescents and young adults may themselves be in a high-risk group and two there has been some small amounts of household transmission from someone in the household," Doctor David Weber said with UNC Health.

If a child does come in contact with monkeypox, the vaccine is safe for kids and there are other therapies available.

Nearly all cases of monkeypox have occurred in men who have sexual contact with other men. You can learn more about monkeypox at the CDC's site or at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.