A Texas child is likely to be the first young case in the state to contract the monkeypox virus.
The child, who was under 2 years old, presumptively tested positive for the virus, Judge Lina Hidalgo announced at a morning briefing on Tuesday, ABC13 reported.
Officials learned of the child’s condition on Monday. Hidalgo clarified that the case is presumed positive until otherwise confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
However, Hidalgo pointed out that all presumptive positive cases of monkeypox so far turned out to be accurate. Still, it’s best to wait for the confirmation from the CDC to arrive about a week later.
It was not clear how the child possibly contracted the virus since it was not in daycare or school. For the time being, Harris County officials are doing contact tracing to determine those who may have had direct contact with the child.
Hidalgo said the child’s parents first noticed the rash, so they took the toddler in for an exam. Both parents are currently cooperating with health officials as they await CDC’s confirmation.
The child has been mostly asymptomatic aside from the rash. Hidalgo said the child is doing “very, very well,” so a full recovery is very likely. She also encouraged parents to be vigilant amid the monkeypox outbreak.
“I understand that it’s a very scary thing, and parents have concerns, and what we need to make sure is to be vigilant and understand the risks, not assume the worst. But this reminds us that this is very real,” Hidalgo was quoted as saying by ABC News.
Aside from the new case, at least seven other children in the U.S. have tested positive for monkeypox. While investigations on how the kids contracted the virus are still ongoing, officials believe they must have caught monkeypox through household transmission.
Across the globe, about 32,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported outside of West and Central Africa where the virus is endemic. The U.S. has recorded more than 12,000 cases thus far, based on data from the CDC.