Florida Has One Of The Highest Monkeypox Case Counts In The US & Isn't Far Behind California
A child in Florida is confirmed to have the infection now.
An outbreak of monkeypox has recently been spreading across the U.S., and, according to the CDC, there are thousands of reported cases out there. The three states reporting the most cases are New York, California and Florida.
Reported numbers vary considerably between the top three states. New York has the most at 2,620; California counts 1,945; and Florida follows with 1,268. This data was last updated on August 16 at 2 p.m.
According to The Florida Department of Health, there is now one confirmed case of a child under four years old testing positive in Martin County. The report was also refreshed on August 16.
Most of the confirmed cases are concentrated in the southern counties of Miami-Dade and Broward, which together make up nearly 75% of all cases in the state.
Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 amongst monkeys, but the first human cases were recorded in 1970; the disease was mostly observed in Central and West African countries until recently, save for a small outbreak that occurred in the Midwest in 2003.
Signs and symptoms include a rash that can be found on genitals, hands, feet, face chest or mouth. The Florida DOH says symptoms of the current outbreak can easily be mistaken for a sexually transmitted infection, and that patients exhibiting symptoms should be tested for both.
The disease typically lasts two to four weeks, and the CDC recommends you self-isolate if infected. Antivirals are recommended for patients at higher risk of getting sick, but there is currently no specific monkeypox treatment, according to the CDC.
The Florida DOH also reports that smallpox vaccines can be a preventive measure if started within the first 14 days of exposure.
Vaccines are available to some high-risk groups through each county health department, by appointment only. Eligibility criteria varies from county to county, but anyone who is known to have had close contact with a confirmed case is likely eligible.
In some counties, laboratory and health care workers who deal with the virus are also eligible for the vaccine, as are some men who have sex with men.
You can find out more about your county's vaccine eligibility criteria and availability on its respective DOH website.