Complications associated with monkeypox are more frequent in children and people who are immunocompromised than in healthy adults. There is increased risk of bacterial superinfection, sepsis, keratitis and respiratory complications which can occur due to pharyngeal abscess. Other complications can also happen like pneumonia, or encephalitis, as reported in an article titled “the monkeypox outbreak: risks to children and pregnant women” in the medical journal The Lancet, Child and Adolescent Health.
It was further mentioned that increase mortality was there in previous monkeypox outbreaks and more hospitalization rate were there in children even in high-income countries such as the United states of America. During the outbreak in 2003, only two severe presentations were reported in the pediatric population. So far, India has not reported any case of monkeypox in children and physicians here have dismissed thought of increased threat to children stating that it’s very early to come to any conclusion of increased risk of getting monkeypox in children.
Source of spread of infection:
Children are not completely immune to these diseases, there can catch this infection. In the initial period of the epidemic they are more likely to pick up the infection from adult close contacts. However, once an infected child continues to go to school, there are chances that those already suffering from disease sits next to them may spread infection to child. So infected child if continues to go to school may be a source of spread of infection to his classmates and teachers. This being an early stage of disease spread, so it is very imperative to make public understand the early symptoms and their preventive measures.
The spread occurring through asymptomatic cases are difficult to report and could be the main cause to infection spread.
It has been reported that those previously infected with smallpox have little of immunity against the monkeypox, suffers milder disease and have less complications. The smallpox vaccine available may offer good protection against monkeypox.
How long disease/illness does last:-
The health ministry has given guidelines mentioning that it is usually a self-limiting disease in which symptoms usually lasts 2-4weeks.
Seriousness among children:-
Children previously having any illness, or on immunosuppressive agents, may develop complications related to monkeypox like pneumonia, encephalitis. Extend of illness also depends on the virus exposure, patient health status, and nature of previous illness.
How fatal it could be:-
In general population, previously case fatality ration due to monkeypox has been between 0-10% and has been higher among young children. Now recently ratio reported was only 3-6%.
Keeping in view of spreading of infection and its complications, its always better to catch the disease early by knowing the early sign and symptoms and restricting outdoor visits, public places in case the number of cases increases.