Riverside County has reported its first pediatric case of MPX, in a child under the age of 10.
The child, a resident of western Riverside County, is recovering at home and did not require hospitalization, health officials said. The public health department is trying to find out how the child became infected with MPX, also known as monkey pox.
Pediatric cases of MPX are rare. According to the California Department of Public Health’s count, as of Tuesday — the most recent day for which data was reported — of 4,453 MPX cases statewide, only seven have occurred in children 15 years of age or younger.
Other pediatric MPX cases have been reported in California, including one in Long Beach associated with infected household members and one in Orange County. The child in the Orange County case was said to improve when the case was announced publicly.
In light of widespread concern that the name “monkeypox” is racist and stigmatizing, the World Health Organization and other public health agencies have pledged to find a replacement. The Times will refer to it as MPX, which is used by the California Department of Public Health.
MPX is not easily transmitted — it usually requires close skin-to-skin contact for an infection to occur — but it can be transmitted in a domestic environment, including on bedding or towels that have come into contact with infected lesions. The disease is characterized by virus-filled rashes and lesions that may look like pimples, bumps, or blisters.
MPX is more commonly transmitted during intimate encounters, including sex. The rash or lesions may first appear in the genital area and rectum before spreading to other parts of the body, and because they can be mistaken for other skin problems, the virus can easily spread during intimate encounters. The risk is higher for people with multiple sexual partners.
Most MPX cases in Riverside County were in the eastern region, in the Coachella Valley. Riverside County has reported 252 cases.
Several other counties in California have more cases: San Diego County has 360; San Francisco, 781; and Los Angeles County, 1945. Alameda County has 215 cases.
Per capita, San Francisco has the highest rate in the state, with 90 MPX cases for every 100,000 residents. The rate for LA County is 19; Alameda County, 13; and San Diego and Riverside counties both have a rate of 11.
New weekly MPX cases continue to decline in LA County. For the seven-day period ending Thursday, LA County reported 140 new MPX cases, a 25% drop from the previous week, when there were 187. The apparent weekly peak was August 19 to August 25, when 313 cases were reported.
Nationally, the number of new MPX cases has fallen by nearly 50% since a peak in early August, said Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, deputy coordinator for the White House’s MPX response, at a news conference Thursday.
“This is the result of our hard work together to increase the availability and use of testing, make vaccines readily available to the people who can most benefit from them, and provide guidance on how to avoid monkeypox by changing behavior said Daskalakis.
“But, as you hear, our work is far from over,” he added. “Some jurisdictions are still seeing increasing rates of monkeypox infections, while others are seeing a decrease.”
More than 59,000 MPX cases have been reported worldwide, including about 23,000 in the United States.
A greater percentage of MPX infections affect people of color. At the start of the nationwide outbreak, MPX cases were mainly seen in white males, said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during the briefing.
Now black men account for 38% of cases; white men, 26%; and Latino men, 25%, Walensky said, citing the most recent weekly data.
Officials are concerned that too few high-risk black and Latino residents have been vaccinated.
Of the people who received their first dose of the MPX vaccine, 47% are white; 21% are Latino; and 12% are black, Walensky said.
“The percentage of vaccines administered to Latinos or … Black men is disproportionately lower than we see in cases,” Walensky said. “It is critical that education, vaccinations, testing and treatment are equally accessible to all populations, but especially those most affected by this outbreak.”
Now comes a more difficult task, Daskalakis said, “where we have to work to ensure we continue to get the first doses in the arms and facilitate access for second doses. That means using hyperlocal strategies that allow us to move deeper into the community.” can reach.”
They include opening vaccination clinics where people at higher risk will be, such as administering more than 4,000 doses of vaccine at Black Pride in Atlanta, and working with partners from the public health community to get the vaccine into the arms of people of color. get it, Daskalakis said.
And because data shows that most people with MPX had HIV or a sexually transmitted infection, the CDC has told health departments and community HIV prevention organizations they can use funds and staff dedicated to HIV and STD efforts at MPX. efforts, Daskalakis said. .
“The same people we need to test for HIV and sexually transmitted infections and lead to prevention and care are the same people who need monkeypox-related services, such as testing, education and vaccines,” Daskalakis said.
Los Angeles County on Monday confirmed the nation’s first MPX death. The patient was severely immunocompromised and hospitalized, said Dr. Rita Singhal, medical director of the LA County Department of Public Health. No further details were released.
In an advisory, LA County health officials noted that severe MPX disease has been found in people with inadequately treated HIV, underscoring how vital it is for those at higher risk to seek treatment. Authorities are now specifically urging health care providers to use a drug called tecovirimat — commonly known as Tpoxx — in patients who have or are at risk of developing severe MPX disease.
LA County also announced the first case of a health worker infected with MPX at work.
Singhal said at a press conference on Thursday that there are about eight healthcare workers worldwide who have contracted MPX from workplace exposure, some of whom were infected by a needlestick injury. “Locally to us here, it wasn’t a needlestick injury directly, but it was a workplace exposure,” she said.
Spread of the MPX virus to healthcare workers through workplace exposure is rare.
Times staff writer Grace Toohey contributed to this report.