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Mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) is a disease caused by a virus. The mpox virus is from the same family of viruses as smallpox. Mpox and smallpox have similar symptoms. But mpox symptoms are milder, and it rarely causes death. Mpox isn't related to chickenpox.
Mpox spreads through close person-to-person contact, such as cuddling. It may spread when you touch items used by someone with mpox, like their blankets. If you're pregnant and have the virus, you can spread it to your baby during pregnancy or childbirth. The virus can also spread from animals to people and from people to animals.
Symptoms include a painful rash and a fever. Symptoms last for about 2 to 4 weeks. Most children can be cared for at home. If your child is very sick or more likely to get very sick, or if the rash is in a very painful spot, antiviral medicines may be needed. Sometimes mpox is treated in the hospital.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. If your child needs medical care, it’s important to tell the doctor or nurses that your child has mpox before going to a clinic or hospital. This is so they can take precautions to prevent the virus from spreading to others. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
When you call 911, tell them your child was diagnosed with mpox, which is contagious. You will get instructions on what is best for your child.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter M346 in the search box to learn more about "Mpox in Children: Care Instructions".
Adaptation Date: 9/15/2023
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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