Monkeypox on Treasure Coast: First case reported in St. Lucie County, third in region
State health officials announced the first report of monkeypox for a patient in St. Lucie County Thursday.
That followed Martin County reporting its first two cases at the beginning of the week.
As of Thursday, Indian River had no cases.
The state Department of Health in Martin County 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, spokeswoman Renay Rouse said.
The state Department of Health in St. Lucie County did not respond Friday with information about vaccines.
The monkeypox outbreak in the United States is a public health emergency, the Biden administration declared Thursday, a move that could make it easier to tap funding and government resources to combat the once-rare disease
As of Friday, the Florida Department of Health reported 633 confirmed or probable cases of monkeypox in 23 counties.
It should be noted that the case numbers in Florida vary from what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report: As of Friday, the CDC lists 7,102 total confirmed monkeypox/orthopoxvirus cases in the United States and 577 in Florida. On July 22, the CDC had reported 2,891 cases in the United States, meaning the cases have more than doubled in two weeks.
The Top 5 counties reporting confirmed or probable monkeypox cases:
- Broward: 275
- Miami-Dade: 173
- Orange: 39
- Palm Beach: 35
- Hillsborough: 30
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?
According to the CDC's July 29 update, possible human-to-human transmission includes:
- Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox.
- Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
- Contact with respiratory secretions.
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.
What's that rash?:Is it a symptom of chickenpox, shingles or monkeypox?
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."
Is monkeypox a gay disease?
No. Although the latest majority of Monkeypox cases can be transmitted through close or intimate contact, it's not required, and the virus can spread to anyone of any sexual orientation.
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.
Lamaur Stancil is the Treasure Coast regional economy reporter covering business and industries, including retail, tourism and hospitality. Contact him at 321-987-7179 or firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him at Lamaur Stancil on Facebook and @TCPalmLStancil on Twitter.