Warning to parents to watch for monkeypox symptoms as child ends up in intensive care

A CHILD in the UK has contracted monkeypox as the outbreak continues to spread.

Around 20 people in the country have tested positive for the illness, with one of these being a child in London.

It's not known how old the youngster is, but they are currently in a critical condition in hospital.

Monkyepox is a rare disease, with most cases found in Africa.

But over the last week the virus has been detected across the globe, with experts claiming it is particularly prevalent in gay men.

Later today the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) are set to announce even more cases.

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It's important that you know the signs to look out for, especially in little ones, who might not be able to explain how they are feeling.

Dr Susan Hopkins, a chief medical adviser at the UKHSA, said the illness is "relatively mild" in adults, with young children thought to be more at risk.

Initial symptoms are usually "non-specific", Dr Hopkins said, and are like "a viral illness".

A chickenpox-type rash later spreads across parts of the body.

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The rash usually affects the face, hands and arms, but can spread to genital areas.

"It starts as red spots and moves to vesicles – those are blister-type lesions that are a bit like chickenpox," Dr Hopkins said.

"They scab over and once the scabs have fallen off, they're no longer infectious."

Medics say that the fatality rate in children is between 1 per cent and 15 per cent.

People who have contracted monkeypox will usually start to experience symptoms five to 21 days after initial infection.

Most of the time, children will experience the same symptoms as adults.

If you think your little one is unwell then you should always seek medical attention.

The NHS says the first signs of the illness are:

  1. High temperature
  2. Headache
  3. Muscle aches
  4. Backache
  5. Swollen glands
  6. Shivering (chills)
  7. Exhaustion

They added that a rash usually appears one to five days after the symptoms.

It's important that parents also look out for signs that their child is feeling generally unwell.

If you're child is exhausted they might become irritable and not enjoy the things they usually do.

When it comes to taking their temperature, experts have previously warned that you should not rely on a thermometer's traffic light system for your children.

This is because what would be deemed as a concerning temperature for babies, is different from what is concerning for an adult.

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The NHS says that a normal temperature in babies and children is about 36.4C, but this can vary slightly from child to child.

If they have a high temperature, this will be around 38C or more.

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