Riverside County on Friday, Sept. 16, reported its first pediatric case among four new confirmed or probable monkeypox cases.
Jose Arballo Jr., a spokesperson for Riverside University Health System, said the four confirmed or probable monkeypox cases on Friday include the first pediatric case.
The child lives in western Riverside County and is under 10 years old, a county news release states. The child did not have to be hospitalized and is recovering at home, the release states. County health officials learned this week about the preliminary positive test results and are trying to determine the source of the infection, according to the release.
“This case reminds everyone that MPX can impact anyone, regarding of age, gender or sexual orientation,” Dr. Geoffrey Leung, Riverside County’s public health officer, said in the release.
The number of cases in the county is now 256, up from 226 the previous week.
A total of 121 probable or confirmed monkeypox cases have been reported in Palm Springs, making up almost half of the county’s aggregate count, according to the latest Riverside County data.
The county’s first probable or confirmed case in a female was reported in mid-August.
According to health officials, the monkeypox vaccine can prevent infection if given before or shortly after exposure to the virus. The county is working with community partners to expand eligibility for the two-shot vaccines to include at-risk individuals, and to set up treatment sites with Tecovirimat — an antiviral medication used to treat orthopoxvirus infections such as monkeypox.
Riverside County has distributed 75% of its allotment of vaccine doses to DAP Health, Eisenhower Medical Center, Borrego Health and the county’s EIP clinic in the Coachella Valley from the county’s limited supply, Arballo told City News Service last month.
According to the latest county data, it has administered a total of 8,747 doses in Riverside County.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health advise that the vaccine be prioritized for high-risk and exposed patients. Gay and bisexual men are at increased risk of contracting the virus, according to the CDC.
The World Health Organization has declared monkeypox a “public health emergency of international concern.”
A total of 4,453 monkeypox cases have been confirmed in California —the highest of any state — while nationwide, the aggregate count is 23,117, according to the latest CDC data.
Monkeypox is generally spread through intimate skin-to-skin contact, resulting from infectious rashes and scabs, though respiratory secretions and bodily fluids exchanged during extended physical episodes such as sexual intercourse can lead to transmission, according to the CDC.
Symptoms include pimples, blisters, rashes, fever and fatigue. There is no specific treatment. People who have been infected with smallpox, or have been vaccinated for it, may have immunity to monkeypox.
People with symptoms are urged to visit a medical provider, cover the rash area with clothing, wear a mask and avoid close or skin-to-skin contact with others.
The CDC particularly recommends those steps for people who recently traveled to an area where monkeypox cases have been reported or who have had contact with a confirmed or suspected monkeypox case.