Monkeypox cases jump to 877, with new FL cases in Leon and Alachua, home of college campuses

By: - August 6, 2022 9:18 pm

Blood sample tube positive with Monkeypox virus. Credit: Getty Images

Florida’s monkeypox cases have jumped to 877 in 25 counties, with South Florida cases expanding and Alachua and Leon counties — home of big college campuses — adding to the caseload for the first time.

As of Saturday, the urban centers in South Florida posted the highest number of monkeypox cases: 346 in Miami-Dade County and 314 cases in Broward, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.

But the new caseloads also stood out, with Alachua and Leon counties posting one monkeypox case each.

Those two new cases come at a time when thousands of students and staff will begin classes this month at the University of Florida in Gainesville and Florida State University and Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. Classes also will begin at the large community colleges in Alachua and Leon.

In addition, Leon County is home to the state capital, the Florida Legislature, state agencies and the Governor’s Mansion.

Just two days ago, the Florida Department of Health posted 577 monkeypox cases in 21 counties, but as of this weekend, the figures increased to 877, with four new counties, each with one case — Alachua, Charlotte (southwest, on the Gulf Coast), Leon, and St. Lucie (southeast, on the Atlantic side.)

There are no reported monkeypox deaths in the United States, but symptoms can last for weeks and can include muscle aches, a painful rash, respiratory symptoms and chills. The virus is most often spread through direct contact, including personal, skin-to-skin contact.

New York, California and Illinois just recently declared a state of emergency due to the monkeypox virus. But in Florida, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis shut down the idea of declaring a state of emergency, even as cases were climbing, the Florida Phoenix reported.

The federal government on Aug. 4 declared a public health emergency over monkeypox, and in July, the World Health Organization declared it a public health emergency of international concern.

As of Saturday, here’s the list of monkeypox cases in Florida counties:

County Monkeypox cases
Miami-Dade 346
Broward 319
Orange 47
Palm Beach 38
Hillsborough 33
Pinellas 32
Monroe 13
Duval 7
Seminole 6
Lee 4
Osceola 4
Polk 4
Brevard 3
Collier 3
Lake 3
Pasco 3
Volusia 3
Martin 2
Alachua 1
Charlotte 1
Flagler 1
Leon 1
Santa Rosa 1
Sarasota 1
St. Lucie 1
TOTAL 877

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Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.

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