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7th child in US tests positive for monkeypox

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(NEW YORK) — A child in Martin County, Florida, has tested positive for monkeypox, state health data shows.

Across the U.S., at least seven children have now tested positive for monkeypox. The child in Florida is between the ages of 0 and 4 years old, according to the state health data.

The additional pediatric case comes after health officials in Maine announced Friday that they, too, had confirmed a positive monkeypox case in a child.

In Maine, no further information about the case has been released due to concerns over patient privacy, officials said.

“Maine CDC [Center for Disease Control and Prevention] is working to identify any others who may have been exposed and make vaccination available to close contacts,” officials wrote in a press release.

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In addition to the cases in children reported in Maine and Florida, two cases have been confirmed in California, as well another two in Indiana, and a case in a non-U.S. resident reported in Washington, D.C.

The majority of cases in the current monkeypox outbreak have been detected in gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men. However, health officials have repeatedly stressed that anyone can contract the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has previously warned that there has been some preliminary evidence to suggest that children younger than 8 years old are at risk of developing more severe illness if infected, alongside pregnant people and those who are immunocompromised.

However, last week, in an effort to protect the youngest Americans, the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization that allows health care for children under 18 who are at high risk of monkeypox to be vaccinated.

MORE: 6th child tests positive for monkeypox in US: What parents should know
Across the globe, nearly 32,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported, including more than 11,000 cases in the U.S. — the most of any country, according to the CDC. All but one U.S. state — Wyoming — have now confirmed at least one positive monkeypox case.

Monkeypox primarily spreads through prolonged skin-to-skin contact with infected people’s lesions or bodily fluids, according to the CDC. In addition to lesions, which can appear like pimples or blisters, the most common symptoms associated with monkeypox are swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache, fatigue and muscle aches.

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