This had never happened in France before. A first confirmed case of monkey pox, also called Monkeypox, was detected in a child attending primary school in Île-de-France, reports the Regional Health Agency this Saturday evening. He was taken care of and shows no signs of seriousness.
The ARS Île-de-France and the teams of Public Health France, which indicate that they “immediately began the investigations in order to trace the child’s chain of contacts as quickly as possible”, have already identified a probable case. within the same sibling. Measures have been taken with National Education and a message has been sent to the parents of children who are at-risk contacts at the school attended by the child. In particular, it invites the parents concerned to monitor the appearance of symptoms, such as fever or rashes.
A risk of transmission assessed as “low”.
With regard to children in contact cases, “in the absence of symptoms, and in the state of knowledge, there is no known risk of contagion”, and therefore no isolation measure, indicates the ARS . In accordance with an opinion from the HAS issued earlier this week, children with contact cases at risk could however be offered a vaccination, if the doctor considers it “necessary”.
This is the first confirmed case of Monkeypox in a child in France. Reached this Saturday evening on the phone, Professor Robert Cohen, pediatric infectious disease specialist at the Créteil hospital (Val-de-Marne) heaves a sigh when he learns of it. He would of course have preferred that this not happen but he had a presentiment of it. “We should have expected that. Basically, it’s not surprising, ”explains the vice-president of the French Society of Pediatrics.
“Much has been made of the fact that the virus circulates among men who have sex with other men, but perhaps not enough that it is not a disease whose transmission is only sexual. It is transmitted by close contact, so everyone can be affected, including children,” he recalls. “It’s not a gay disease at all. No one is spared, women, straight people, children, ”infectiology professor Karine Lacombe told us at the beginning of June.
In Africa, the main victims of Monkeypox are children. “But in Africa, contamination is mainly through contact with rodents, which are the carriers of the disease. There, it’s different, ”notes Professor Cohen. Should we be worried about it? “No”, he replies, but you have to be careful. The pediatrician is waiting to learn more about the chain of contamination that led to the child. “If it’s intrafamilial, it won’t be surprising. If we can’t figure out where it comes from, then it’s more problematic. »
Similarities with hand-foot-mouth syndrome
Another major point, according to the doctor, is the confusion he could have with another epidemic currently underway, that of the so-called hand-foot-mouth syndrome. “At first, the symptoms are the same: fever and pustule. We risk confusing them. You will have to be very careful. »
France had 330 confirmed cases of infection with the monkeypox virus on Thursday, according to health authorities. A first infected woman, who reported having had contact with a partner with a rash, had just been identified in France.