Here we go again….. with school ramping back up, and COVID-19 protocols relaxing, there is a new infectious disease on the rise. Monkeypox! Lately, we are getting lots of questions from parents about what exactly is monkeypox, and how you can keep your child safe.
Bottom line: As of right now, there is a low risk to your child contracting monkeypox. As of August 12, 2022 there are 11,177 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the United States, with 815 of those in Texas.
Monkeypox is an infectious disease that causes a rash, as well as fever, swollen lymph nodes, headache, sore throat, and cough. Most people recover in two to four weeks without the help of medication.
- Monkeypox should be considered if the child presents with a rash that is consistent with the disease. Typically, the rash first appears as flat spots on the skin, then becomes raised bumps that turn into fluid-filled blisters. They end up becoming pus-filled white and yellow sores. Monkeypox is contagious until the rash and any scabs are completely gone.
- While monkeypox seems scary, it is MUCH harder to spread than COVID-19. Keep the rash covered, avoid scratching/itching, and stay isolated.
- There is a monkeypox vaccine, and it is recommended if you have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of monkeypox. Right now, you are eligible for the vaccine if you are greater than 18 years old.
- Children under eight years old, those who have skin conditions (such as eczema), and children who are immunocompromised are at higher risk of severe disease from monkeypox.
- Treatment should be done on a case-by-case basis if a child is found to have contracted monkeypox.
- Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care does NOT currently have a test for monkeypox, though we are working on getting one.
How can you avoid monkeypox? Similar to other infectious diseases! Frequent hand-washing, avoid sharing clothing or towels, and good hygiene are all important preventative measures. If you are concerned your child has been exposed to monkeypox, contact your local health department.
Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care opened in 2006 in San Antonio, Texas. With multiple locations in San Antonio and Dallas, they are open seven days a week with extended evening hours and see walk-in patients or through an online check-in system. They accept most commercial insurance and Medicaid plans.