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Florida monkeypox cases, confirmed or probable, at 442 in over 2 months. Here's where they are

Jennifer Sangalang
Palm Beach Post

Aug. 1, 2022, update:

Monkeypox cases in Florida have increased in a week — the Florida Department of Health reports 442 total cases, a jump of 169 new cases since July 25. Click on the "Aug. 1 report" link below, which also includes a list of which counties are seeing monkeypox cases.

Aug. 1 report: Florida monkeypox cases, confirmed or probable, nears 500, state department of health says

Original story posted July 25, 2022:

Monkeypox cases in Florida are on the rise.

Two months after a presumptive positive case was announced here May 22, the state department of health has reported 273 confirmed or probable cases in 16 counties, according to its tracker on flhealthcharts.gov.

The Top 5 counties reporting confirmed or probable monkeypox cases:

  • Broward
  • Miami-Dade
  • Orange
  • Pinellas
  • Palm Beach County

Here's a list of cases by county. This info is from the Florida Department of Health's reportable disease frequency report, with data from July 24 (check back for updates):

  • Alachua, 1
  • Broward, 131
  • Collier, 2
  • Duval, 2
  • Hillsborough,  5
  • Lake, 1
  • Lee, 2
  • Miami-Dade, 73
  • Monroe, 9
  • Orange, 17
  • Palm Beach, 10
  • Pinellas, 13
  • Polk, 3
  • Santa Rosa, 1
  • Sarasota, 1
  • Seminole, 2

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WHO declares monkeypox a global emergency

In the U.S., as of July 22, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed there have been 2,891 monkeypox/orthopoxvirus cases, with one Florida case included in the United Kingdom case counts because the individual was tested while in the UK.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, declared monkeypox a global emergency July 23.

For the moment, he said, this is an outbreak that's concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sex partners. That means this is an outbreak that can be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups.

Ghebreyesus cautioned that stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus.

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Dr. Jerome Adams, former U.S. surgeon general, told USA TODAY that "we also need to be aware that it is not if, it's when we start to see spread beyond the MSM (men spreading to men) community." In the U.S., he added, more than 50 women have been diagnosed with monkeypox.

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What are monkeypox symptoms?

Monkeypox symptoms are milder than those of smallpox, according to the CDC.

It begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. Within 1 to 3 days after fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body. Incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) is usually 7-14 days but can range from 5-21 days.

How is monkeypox transmissible?

Possible human-to-human transmission includes:

• coughing. If an infected person coughs, it can be spread through respiratory droplets via the eye, nose or mouth.

• animals. The virus can be transmitted by a bite, scratch or body fluids. Rodents are the primary source.

• broken skin. The virus can enter the body through broken skin, even if the break is not visible. 

When should I get tested?

The CDC and the Florida Department of Health recommend testing if you see suspicious skin lesions or if you've had close personal contact with someone who may have a confirmed or probable case.

Are there enough monkeypox vaccines?

Adams told USA TODAY that "we do not have the capacity to properly treat and vaccinate people for monkeypox." However, "you can vaccinate people who are at risk before they're exposed, but you can also use vaccines as post-exposure prophylaxis," he said.

Monkeypox hotline

If health care providers suspect a possible case of monkeypox, immediately contact your county health department via the Florida Department of Health website or the 24/7 disease reporting hotline at 850-245-4401.

Contributing: USA TODAY

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