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Monkeypox in Florida: Treasure Coast gets first cases; state cases near 500

Jennifer Sangalang
Treasure Coast Newspapers

Monkeypox cases continue to rise — in Florida and beyond.

Martin County is the first Treasure Coast county to report a confirmed or probable case. As of July 31, there were two cases reported in Martin County and none in St. Lucie or Indian Rver counties..

The state Department of Health in Martin County is conducting an epidemiological investigation of the cases, said Renay Rouse, its public information officer.

She said the local office has received the vaccine and is offering it for high-risk, close contacts of the cases. Vaccine for the general public is not available at this time, she said.

As of Aug. 1,  the Florida Department of Health reported 442 confirmed or probable cases of monkeypox in 22 counties. A week ago, the state reported 273 cases in 16 counties — that's a jump of 169 probable or confirmed monkeypox cases here since July 25.

It should be noted that the case numbers in Florida vary from what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report: As of Aug. 1, the CDC lists 5,189 total confirmed monkeypox/orthopoxvirus cases in the U.S. and 373 in Florida. On July 22, the CDC had reported 2,891 cases in the U.S. — that's a jump of almost 2,300 cases in 10 days.

A presumptive positive case was first announced in Florida on May 22. The state department of health reported 442 confirmed or probable cases in 16 counties, according to its tracker on flhealthcharts.gov.

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The Top 5 counties reporting confirmed or probable monkeypox cases:

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

July 25, 2022, report:Monkeypox cases, confirmed or probable, reach 273 in 2 months in 16 Florida counties

Here's a list of cases by county with notes in increases and first case. This info is from the Florida Department of Health's reportable disease frequency report, with data from July 31:

  • Alachua, 1
  • *Brevard, 1
  • Broward, 211 (up 131 from July 25)
  • Collier, 3 (up 1 from July 25)
  • Duval, 4 (up 2 from July 25)
  • *Flagler, 1
  • Hillsborough,  10 (up 5 from July 25)
  • Lake, 2 (up 1 from July 25)
  • Lee, 3 (up 1 from July 25)
  • *Martin, 2
  • Miami-Dade, 108 (up 35 from July 25)
  • Monroe, 12 (up 3 from July 25)
  • Orange, 26 (up 9 from July 25)
  • *Osceola, 3
  • Palm Beach, 27 (up 17 from July 25)
  • *Pasco, 1
  • Pinellas, 18 (up 5 from July 25)
  • Polk, 3
  • Santa Rosa, 1
  • Sarasota, 1
  • Seminole, 3 (up 1 from July 25)
  • *Volusia, 1

*denotes first confirmed or probable cases for the county since July 25 report from the state department of health

Daytona Beach News-Journal:Volusia, Flagler counties report first monkeypox cases

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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.

Is there a monkeypox vaccine?

Yes. The CDC states: "Because monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, vaccines developed to protect against smallpox viruses may be used to prevent monkeypox infections. The U.S. government has two stockpiled vaccines — JYNNEOS and ACAM2000 — that can prevent monkeypox in people who are exposed to the virus. Vaccines may be recommended for people who have had or may have contact with someone who has monkeypox, or for healthcare and public health workers who may be exposed to the virus."

Closer look: Rising reports of monkeypox cases in US and around the world raise concern

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; TCPalm reporter Mauricio LaPlante

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