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Monkeypox case data can be found on Florida CHARTS.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by a virus that occurs mostly in central and western Africa. However, monkeypox infections also occur in other parts of the world. The monkeypox virus can be transmitted from animals to humans. These animals include different African rodents and monkeys. Once a person becomes infected with the monkeypox virus they can pass it to other people. Monkeypox is not a very contagious disease, and the risk of contracting monkeypox is generally low. Recently there has been an increase in human monkeypox infections in different parts of the world, including the U.S.
Monkeypox typically begins with flu-like symptoms (e.g., fever, chills, headache, tiredness, muscle aches) and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a rash on the face and body. Duration of illness is usually 2 to 4 weeks.
Human-to-human transmission generally requires prolonged, face-to-face contact, direct contact with an active rash, or indirect contact with an active rash through contaminated items, such as contaminated clothing. Therefore, the risk of exposure remains low.
Transmission can occur through:
- Direct contact with an infected person or animal.
- Direct contact with infected materials, such as an infected person’s clothing or hospital bedding.
- Breathing in or other exposure to large respiratory droplets during extended contact (3 hours or more) with an infected person without appropriate respiratory protection, such as a mask.
- It is not known whether sexual transmission occurs. It can take between 5 and 21 days to show symptoms of monkeypox after infection.
The risk of monkeypox to the general public is usually low. Vaccines used for smallpox have been shown to be effective in preventing monkeypox. For people who become infected, are exposed to people diagnosed with monkeypox, or have a job that puts them at risk for monkeypox, they should contact their health care provider. If you become infected, avoid contact with people and pets - stay isolated from others and animals as much as possible.
Recommendations for the prevention and treatment monkeypox include the following:
- Vaccination is recommended if started within 14 days of exposure to a person infected with monkeypox.
- Vaccination is recommended for people with certain job-related risks such as public health laboratory staff.
- Antiviral medications that were developed for use in patients with smallpox may be beneficial for people with confirmed monkeypox infection.
For health care providers and household contacts of people with monkeypox, preventive vaccines are available through your county health department.
If health care providers suspect a possible case of monkeypox, immediately contact your county health department or the 24/7 disease reporting hotline at 850-245-4401. Local county health departments can help providers obtain monkeypox virus-specific real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.
Health care providers should remain vigilant of information related to monkeypox:
- Monkeypox symptoms, especially among individuals with relevant travel history.
- Transmission and incubation.
- Specimen collection.
- Infection control procedures in the home and hospital.
- Clinical recognition, and the characteristic rash associated with monkeypox.
- Prophylaxis and possible treatments for monkeypox.
- Monitoring of those exposed to monkeypox.
* The cases of monkeypox described in the current outbreak have some atypical features. These features of the newest monkeypox cases can easily be confused with sexually transmitted infections (STI). It is important to comprehensively evaluate patients presenting with genital or perianal ulcers for STIs. However, co-infections with monkeypox and STIs have been reported and the presence of an STI does not rule out monkeypox. Patients with a new characteristic rash or who meet one or more of the epidemiologic criteria and in which there is a high suspicion should be tested for monkeypox.