New York City reports first monkeypox infection in juvenile, health department reveals

New York City has recorded its first case of monkeypox in a child, data revealed Thursday… as cases in the city appear to be declining.

Health officials said the patient was less than 18 years old, but declined to give any more details including their gender and location in the city.

The city’s health commissioner Dr Ashwin Vasan said while he understood the concerns of families — with children thought to be more at risk from the virus — the risk of them being exposed remained ‘very low’.

It came as Dr Rochelle Walensky revealed she was ‘cautiously optimistic’ over the outbreak — which has reached 17,432 cases nationally — amid signs it is now slowing in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director (CDC) was speaking at a White House briefing.

New York is at the epicenter of America’s monkeypox outbreak — which hit 17,432 cases yesterday —, with most cases among gay or bisexual men.

But there are now tentative signs that the city’s outbreak may be slowing, with 41 cases being recorded daily on average last Friday compared to 55 two weeks ago. No deaths have been reported from monkeypox in the United States.

NEW YORK CITY: Shown above are the monkeypox cases spotted in New York City by day. The grey area (right) indicates the area that is still having cases added, because it often takes several days for a monkeypox test to be processed and the result revealed. The figure suggests the city’s outbreak is beginning to slow down

U.S.: The above graph shows the daily number of monkeypox infections reported for the United States. At present, daily cases do not appear to be falling nationally

U.S.: The above graph shows the daily number of monkeypox infections reported for the United States. At present, daily cases do not appear to be falling nationally

Dr Rochelle Walensky, who heads up the CDC, said she was 'cautiously optimistic' over the monkeypox outbreak as daily reported cases are beginning to fall in some areas

HQ for New York City's Department of Health

Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said today she was ‘cautiously optimistic’ about falling daily monkeypox cases in some areas of the country. Pictured right is the HQ for New York City’s Department of Health

Revealing the case, Vasan said: ‘There is a juvenile case of MPV (or monkeypox) in New York City.

‘While we understand the concerns of families, we also know that the overall risk of exposure for children in the city remains very low.’

It is the second juvenile case to be detected in the state, with another having been found in upstate New York.

Gay and bisexual men cut sexual partners over monkeypox, survey finds 

Gay and bisexual men are having sex less often because they are worried about catching the virus, an official survery suggests.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey of nearly 800 men revealed 48 percent said they were now limiting their sexual partners.

Half said they were cutting how often they had one-night stands, and 49 percent added they were meeting people off dating apps and at sex venues less frequently.

The World Health Organization had already called upon men who had sex with men to limit their number of sexual contacts to help put the lid on the outbreak. 

And it appears many may now be having sex less often, likely out of concern over the viurs. America has spotted 15,433 cases so far, mostly among gay or bisexual men. It is yet to report any deaths.

State health commissioner Dr Mary Vasan has urged parents not to worry about sending their children back to school.

‘We expect that we will see cases diagnosed in children and related to household exposure related to their personal behavior,’ she told reporters Monday.

‘But I do not see the schools as a place where we are going to have to worry about transmission.’

The monkeypox virus is transmitted via physical touch with infectious skin lesions, or by coming into contact with scabs from a patient left on bedding or clothes.

The illness begins with flu-like symptoms before a rash appears on one area of the body — such as the chest — before spreading to the rest of the body.

It can take more than four weeks for signs to completely clear, during which time the person is still able to transmit the virus.

At least 13 cases have been spotted in children across America so far, including five in California, three in Georgia, two in India,two in New York, one in Oregon and one in Florida.

Concerns have been raised that the return of schools could spark an uptick in cases. 

Dr Rachel Cox, an assistant professor in at the Mass General Health Institute of Health Professionals, told CNN earlier this month: ‘As we head into the fall, I’m concerned about outbreaks on college campuses as they are often a place where individuals engage in higher risk sexual activity and are in close contact with many different people.

‘We need to make sure we’re prepared to allocate resources like tests, vaccines, and antivirals to places that may become hotspots.’

America has rolled out vaccines and TPOXX — an antiviral — to help fight the spread of the virus.

And there are now tentative signs the outbreak may be slowing down in some areas, making health chiefs ‘cautiously optimistic’ it could soon level off in the rest of the country. 

In a press briefing today Dr Rochelle Walensky noted New York, Chicago and San Francisco were all seeing falls in newly identified cases.

The above map shows the number of monkeypox cases reported by wach state. New York is the national hotspot with the most infections confirmed

The above map shows the number of monkeypox cases reported by wach state. New York is the national hotspot with the most infections confirmed

She said: ‘I want to be cautiously optimistic about this, not only because of the downward trend but because of the data showing fewer [men who have sex with men were as sexually active].

‘It speaks to the resilience and commitment of this community to addressing the challenge of monkeypox using every tool in their toolkit.’

Nationally, however, cases are still rising by 400 infections a day on average.

There are also signs in these figures of a slowdown too, with the seven-day average for new infections ten percent lower yesterday than the same time last week.

Earlier this week the World Health Organization noted that the number of monkeypox cases reported globally had fallen by 20 percent, in a sign many nations are now getting on top of the outreak.

They attributed the downward trend in Europe to a combination of public health measures, vaccinations and behavioral changes.

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