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Abstract

Background

During the 2022 mpox outbreak in Europe, primarily affecting men who have sex with men, a limited number of cases among children and adolescents were identified. Paediatric cases from outbreaks in endemic countries have been associated with a higher likelihood of severe illness. Detailed clinical case descriptions and interventions in school settings before 2022 are limited.

Aim

To describe clinical characteristics of mpox cases among children (< 15 years) and adolescents (15–17 years) in the greater Paris area in France, and infection control measures in schools.

Methods

We describe all notified laboratory-confirmed and non-laboratory-confirmed cases among children and adolescents identified from May 2022 to July 2023, including demographic and clinical characterisation and infection control measures in school settings, i.e. contact tracing, contact vaccination, secondary attack rate and post-exposure vaccination uptake.

Results

Nineteen cases were notified (13 children, 6 adolescents). Four adolescent cases reported sexual contact before symptom onset. Ten child cases were secondary cases of adult patients; three cases were cryptic, with vesicles on hands, arms and/or legs and one case additionally presented with genitoanal lesions. Five cases attended school during their infectious period, with 160 at-risk contacts identified, and one secondary case. Five at-risk contacts were vaccinated following exposure.

Conclusion

Cases among children and adolescents are infrequent but require a careful approach to identify the source of infection and ensure infection control measures. We advocate a ‘contact warning’ strategy vs ‘contact tracing’ in order to prevent alarm and stigma. Low post-exposure vaccination rates are expected.

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/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2024.29.21.2300555
2024-05-23
2024-06-19
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2024.29.21.2300555
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