Monkeypox infections in FL in double digits, with cases in five counties in South and Central FL

By: - June 21, 2022 1:35 pm

Monkeypox, which is endemic to African countries, has been identified in the United States. Credit: CDC

Monkeypox infections in Florida have climbed to 16 in five counties, moving from South Florida to the central part of the state. The counties with cases are: Broward, Collier, Miami-Dade, Orange, and Seminole.

Broward County has reported the most monkeypox infections, with 11 total confirmed cases, according to the Florida Department of Health. Orange County has seen two monkeypox cases and Seminole, one case. Both Collier and Miami-Dade counties have reported one case each.

In Orange County, in Central Florida, “In regard to our second monkeypox case…our epidemiology team is actively monitoring the situation and has already conducted the contact tracing efforts related to this second case,” according to Kent Donahue, a spokesman from the Orange County health department. The individual remains isolated and has received treatment, Donahue said.

In Seminole County, the individual infected is between ages 45 and 49, state data show.

Mirna Chamorro, a spokesperson for the state health department in Seminole County, also said the individual remains isolated and getting treatment.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are tracking the 2022 outbreak of the rare monkeypox disease — usually found in several Central and West African countries but now expanding globally. The disease can cause a characteristic rash and other symptoms.

Global health officials are assessing whether to declare the disease a public health emergency, according to WHO. And the agency plans to change the name of the disease, with some scientists criticizing monkeypox as “discriminatory and stigmatizing,” according to NPR news.

The WHO data shows a total of 2,103 confirmed cases in 42 countries; one probable case, in Australia, and one monkeypox death in Nigeria. The data is based on cases between January 2022 to June 15, 2022, according to the report from WHO.

The WHO data shows 72 cases in the United States. The largest number of cases globally are in the United Kingdom (524 cases), followed by Spain (313), Germany, (263), Portugal (241) and Canada (159).

As to monkeypox deaths, WHO has reported 72 deaths since the beginning of 2022 in countries where monkeypox has been endemic, according to a June 10 report from the organization. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has seen the most deaths (64) in the WHO African Region.

This week WHO officials are expected to “convene an Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations to advise on whether the current spread of monkeypox in non-endemic countries constitutes a public health emergency of international concern,” according to its website.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also tracks the monkeypox cases, with some differences between CDC and WHO.

For global figures, the CDC shows 2,525 cases in 37 countries, showing the United States with 112 cases, as of Friday.

Nationwide in the U.S., the CDC reported 113 monkeypox cases in 20 states and the District of Columbia, as of Friday. California has the most cases (24), followed by New York (21) and Illinois (15). The numbers will continue to move. So far, the CDC has reported no monkeypox deaths in the United States.

Though anyone can contract monkeypox, CDC officials have stated that early data “suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up a high number of cases” in the 2022 outbreak.

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Issac Morgan
Issac Morgan

Issac Morgan is a 2009 graduate of Florida A&M University's School of Journalism, and a proud native of Tallahassee. He has covered city council and community events at the Gadsden County Times, worked as a sports news assistant at the Tallahassee Democrat, a communications specialist for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and as a proofreader at the Florida Law Weekly.

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