On Saturday, ARS Ile-de-France revealed that the first child to be infected with the disease had been identified. Parents of students at schools where young patients attend have been told to avoid contamination.
A press release issued by the Ile-de-France Regional Health Organization (ARS) on Saturday gave a new perspective to the monkeypox epidemic that has been spreading in France and Europe since early May.
“The regional health agency Ile-de-France reported the first confirmed case of monkeypox in a child attending primary school in the region. He was treated and showed no signs of seriousness,” the statement said. Shared on the agency’s website and social media.
The first woman was also infected
Although the first cases and outbreaks of contamination in Europe associated with the disease suggest an infection affecting the gay community, the discovery of the first case in a child in France proves that monkeypox can actually affect all segments of the population.
“Last week, there was the first announcement in France of a woman, where the disease is still exclusively a concern in men between the ages of 30 and 40. It is not surprising to see secondary infections. Children are targeted in the case of covid. -19 ago” Pathologist Benjamin Davido, one of the French specialists in this disease.
Monkeypox is a zoonosis, meaning it is usually transmitted from animals to humans. A cousin of smallpox, it was usually confined to the African continent, especially around the Congo Basin, and as a result of contact with an infected animal, such as a gabion rat or a monkey. However, since the beginning of May, more than a hundred cases have been registered in Europe. In France alone, according to the latest report from Public Health France, 330 people have been infected.
“Less contagious” than the flu or Covid-19
Does the discovery of a case in a child indicate an increase in contamination? For Professor Benjamin Davido, there is no point in making hasty decisions, especially since the disease is not particularly contagious.
“The disease is not considered highly contagious. According to the literature, it is estimated that it has an R zero (number of infected people per patient, editor’s note) about 1. So it is twice as contagious than the flu, and Covid-19. It is much less contagious than it is. It contains flu-like droplets and also infections during close contact, which can be skin-to-skin contact, such as in a family, “the expert underlined.
Now the challenge is to identify the different people who have come in contact with the sick child, especially in his school, to block the chain of contamination.
In its press release, ARS Ile-de-France claimed that “an immediate investigation has been launched to find the child’s contact chain as soon as possible. A possible case has been identified between the same siblings. Action has been taken. With National Education and sending a message.” Was attended by parents of children who were in risky contact at school. “
A more serious disease in children
However, contamination of the first child in France is not trivial. As Public Health France noted, “the disease is more severe in children and immunocompromised people. It can be complicated by skin lesions or superinfections of respiratory, digestive, ophthalmic or neural damage.”
“We clearly see that the challenge of infection in children will be to block the chains of contamination, to ensure that there are no reservoirs in the child and that the epidemic begins,” Benjamin Davido analyzed.
In France, as in Europe, men still have concerns about having sex with men for the most part. “To date, as in other European countries, these incidents have occurred mainly, but not exclusively, among men who have sex with men, with no direct contact with people returning from the local area. In most cases, multiple sexual partners have been reported,” he noted. Public health France.
Monkeypox manifests itself by particularly striking rashes, which are responsible for pustules that disappear over time. No deaths related to the disease have been listed in France for the time being. And a treatment already exists: it is a smallpox vaccine, effective against monkeypox due to its close proximity to two diseases.