The U.S. has confirmed the first two cases of monkeypox in children, health officials announced Friday.
A toddler in California and an infant in Washington D.C. were receiving treatment for the disease, reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC has said children, particularly those under 8, have an “especially increased risk” for severe monkeypox disease.
Over 5,000 cases have been reported globally, including 2,593 cases in the U.S., the CDC said Thursday.
“Both of those children are traced back to individuals who come from the men-who-have-sex-with-men community, the gay men’s community,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said during a virtual meeting with the Washington Post.
Both children are reportedly doing well and in a statement, the CDC said the cases are unrelated to one another and “likely the result of household transmission”.
Despite the disease being easily spread other ways, many have labeled monkeypox as an STD.
“If Monkeypox is a sexually transmitted disease, why are kids getting it?” tweeted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
“Monkeypox” is trending on Twitter, with users calling it a “gay disease” and claiming it is spread through grooming and sexual abuse.
“It’s not true, but conservatives will use this as an excuse to commit violent acts against the LGBTQIA+ community,” said former Ohio senator Nina Turner.