Health & Science

Harris County has its first monkeypox case in a child, under 2 years old

The child is asymptomatic as of now and does not attend a school or daycare.

A child under younger than two years old has tested presumptively positive for Monkeypox in Harris County, according to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.

All cases are considered presumptively positive until it is confirmed by the CDC, Hidalgo said.

"We are assuming the case is positive," she said.

Hidalgo said the family has been fully cooperating in the contact tracing, and the toddler has not been to daycare or in a school setting.

"We are still identifying how the child might have contracted monkeypox." Hidalgo said during the conference.

According to the parents, the toddler is completely asymptomatic, other than a residual rash. The vaccine has been offered to anyone who has been in contact with the child but so far, nobody in the child's circle has been identified as a presumptive positive.

As school is starting back up, Hidalgo reassured parents this case in Harris County is one of a handful of cases of young children nationwide.

But, she said "it opens-up a lot of questions."

"We always knew that any person in this community can contract monkeypox. We knew that it was possible for a child to be exposed. So, this isn't entirely unexpected. To put this into context, this is a rare case."

The child is expected to make a full recovery and is doing "very well".

Harris County reported 307 cases with 267 of those being within the City of Houston on Tuesday. If confirmed by the CDC, this will be the first child confirmed case in the state of Texas.

Officials said the focus will continue to be on the most vulnerable people to this virus, which includes men who have sex with other men and who have multiple partners.

During the presser, Houston's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Persse said that while monkeypox has been around for decades, it has never been in the human population to the scale that it is today.

“We are going to learn new things about this virus that we don't currently know."

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