Are children, pregnant women more prone to monkeypox?

Amid fears of a global monkeypox outbreak, which has so far spread to over 80 countries and infected nearly 30,000 people, an article published in the prestigious medical journal ‘The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health’ claimed That children and pregnant women are more at risk. infectious disease.

“The absolute risk of getting monkeypox in children or pregnant women may not be higher than in other vulnerable groups,” Associate Professor Deepu TS, Department of Infectious Diseases, Amrita Hospital, Kochi, told IANS.

“Although the literature is limited, there are case series that have defined fetal loss in pregnant women, including stillbirth,” he said, adding that “in the case of pregnant women, the causative factor is only the risk of disease.” Not the severity, but the effect on the fetus.”

The Lancet article, authored by researchers from the Universities of Lausanne in Switzerland, California in the US and the National University Hospital in Singapore, states that compared to healthy adults, complications are more common in children, and more severe in pregnant women than in healthy individuals. There are. who are not pregnant.

It said previous monkeypox outbreaks had reported increased mortality and hospitalization rates among children, even in high-income countries such as the US, which had only two severe presentations during the 2003 outbreak. were observed in the pediatric population.

In addition, the paper claimed that information on the effects of monkeypox in pregnant women is scarce, but vertical transmission of monkeypox has been linked to fetal death and congenital infection.

Rajeev Jayadevan, co-chair of the IMA National Task Force on COVID-19, told IANS: “The reference to child mortality is older and is from relatively poorer parts of Africa, where malnutrition and lack of healthcare may have played a role. “

“Also, data on adverse outcomes in pregnancy are so scarce. Of the four reports of monkeypox in pregnancy from Africa, two were born with early miscarriage (it is not clear if this was caused by infection) and one was still born with infection. Unless we have large numbers, it is impossible to extrapolate it to the whole world,” Jayadevan said.

The Lancet article pointed to the vulnerability of people with weakened immunity to monkeypox with “an increased risk of respiratory complications due to bacterial superinfection, sepsis, keratitis, pharyngeal abscess and pneumonia, or encephalitis”.

“Despite one-third (WHO and UK) to two-thirds (Georgia, US) of various monkeypox series being HIV positive in 2022, there are no reports of death or serious consequences. The Lancet paper on Spain’s outbreak clearly suggests that they found no difference in severity among people with HIV,” explained Jayadevan.

“The effect on people with immunosuppression will only be known with more studies. At this point in time it is wrong to assume that they will die or have other bad consequences,” he said.

Jayadevan also explained that the mortality and complications reported from Africa in the paper are based on the Central African clade, while the 2022 outbreak is by the less severe West African clade, and “a 0.04 percent mortality rate globally, which is very low.” ” and presents prominently. Because of “unknown and unreported” cases.

However, “this number may change” as cases rise, he said.

Among countries with monkeypox cases, 11 deaths have been reported so far: seven from endemic countries in Africa and the remaining four from non-endemic countries, two from Spain; One each from Brazil and India. So far nine cases of monkeypox infection have been reported in India.

“As a rule of thumb, the severity of the disease is higher between the extremes of age, making them a vulnerable group”, said Deepu, advising them to “avoid close contact with the infected”.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and is not created or edited by FreshersLIVE.Publisher : IANS-media

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