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Two children in the US have been diagnosed with monkeypox, health officials announced this week.
On Friday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a toddler in California and an infant in Washington DC were receiving treatment for the disease that has spread from Africa into Europe and the US
More than 15,000 cases have been reported by the international community, including in countries that do not usually see the disease, the CDC reported.
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The two children are the latest cases of more than 2,800 reported in the US
Health officials say the disease, which is often spread among men who have sex with other men, can also be transmitted through prolonged personal contact or contact with infected bedsheets or towels — objects that have prolonged contact with infected persons.
The infection is notably rare among children or anyone 17 years old and younger. Across Europe, six cases within that age group have been reported.
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Infection rates among children in Africa, where the disease originates, is more common and potentially fatal.
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Dr. James Lawler, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, says vaccination against smallpox can provide some protection against monkeypox.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.