The New York City Department of Health confirmed the first reported case of juvenile monkeypox in the city on Friday.
The confirmation comes as cases remain high in the boroughs, with the city reporting 2,888 cases Friday evening.
As the city continues to push to create accessibility to vaccines, parents are just plain nervous.
“When the children come home, you don’t know what they’re going into, what kind of environment they’re going into,” says Elaida Ramos, a worried mother. “You don’t know if other people are as careful as you are, you don’t know what they might bring to class with them.”
New York City Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said in a statement, “There is a juvenile case of MPV (or monkeypox) in New York City. While we understand families’ concerns, we also know that the overall risk of exposure for children in the city remains very low.
Health officials say this first reported case of juvenile monkeypox was linked to a household contact.
Officials say not all rashes or sores are related to monkeypox and can have many causes such as insect bites, pimples, allergic reactions and other infections.
Affected families should have their children evaluated by a clinical provider for a rash or illness.
This reported case comes just five days after the first juvenile case was reported in New York State. This report did not specify the age of the child or the county where the case was reported.
New York continues to lead the nation in monkeypox cases, with the country having more than 17,000 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ramos says there are nerves in sending children back to school – from COVID-19 to children catching colds. She says it’s important for parents to stay vigilant.
“Do everything you can to keep your kids safe. Keep your mask on when you’re around other people and just make sure your kids wear a mask at school,” Ramos recommends.
According to the CDC, steps to prevent monkeypox include:
– Avoid close skin-to-skin contact with people who may have a rash.
– Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
– Wash your hands often.