Leon County sees first case of monkeypox

florida DOH (Large)
Florida has the third-highest total of monkeypox infections in the country with 633 cases.

The first case of monkeypox has been identified in Leon County, the Florida Department of Health in Leon County announced.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the monkeypox virus is part of the same family as the virus that causes smallpox. The first human case of monkeypox was discovered in 1970. While the symptoms of monkeypox are similar to smallpox symptoms, monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.

The CDC says symptoms of monkeypox include rashes on or around private parts as well as hands, feet, chest and face. Some may have flu-like symptoms before the rash.

Those infected may also experience fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, aches, sore throat and nasal congestion. The CDC says the illness lasts two to four weeks.

According to an Aug. 4 news release by the Florida Department of Health in Leon County, there are cases of the virus in 48 states as well as Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. The risk of infection to the general population is low, and there have been no deaths related to the virus outside of endemic countries.

The Centers for Disease Control database shows 7,510 cases of monkeypox nationwide as of Aug. 5. New York has the highest number of cases with 1,862, followed by California with 826. The state of Florida has the third-highest total in monkeypox cases with 633.

The DOH said human-to-human transmission “generally requires prolonged, face-to-face contact, direct contact with lesion materials, or indirect contact with lesion materials through contaminated items, such as contaminated clothing.”

“DOH Leon is conducting epidemiological investigations to notify possible exposures and offer potential post-exposure prophylaxis,” the release says. “DOH Leon will offer the monkeypox vaccine to high-risk groups as doses become available from the federal government.”

The DOH also encourages the public to “remain vigilant” about the meningococcal outbreak, which has similar symptoms as monkeypox. High-risk populations can receive a meningococcal vaccine at their county health department for free.

Aimee Sachs

Aimee Sachs covers politics in her hometown of Tallahassee and the Panhandle. The University of Florida graduate began her career as a sportswriter for the Tallahassee Democrat, Lakeland Ledger and MLB.com. She has also worked for Courthouse News Service and was a senior reporter for The Florida Channel before joining Florida Politics. You can email Aimee at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @AimSachs.

One comment

  • Just a comment

    August 17, 2022 at 1:43 pm

    First case of smallpox 95 case of technology abuse

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