Monkeypox Cases Being Identified in Florida, Massachusetts, New York

The third reported case of monkeypox in the United States has been discovered in Florida, officials said Sunday.

The individual with presumptive monkeypox is in Broward County, the Florida Department of Health in Broward County said in a news release Sunday, according to ABC News.

Previously, a Massachusetts man and an individual from New York City had become infected with the viral disease, which occurs mostly in central and western Africa.

Officials said the Broward County case is related to international travel, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The infected person is in isolation.

Through Saturday, 92 monkeypox cases had been confirmed and another 28 were suspected in nations where the virus is not endemic, according to a World Health Organization news release. Cases have been reported in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

“What’s going on now is surprising cause we are seeing a spread from human to human and it has spread faster than I’ve ever seen,” Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert at Florida International University, said, according to WTVJ-TV.

“The important thing to understand is it has a long incubation period,” Marty said. “It can be as early as five days and as long as 21 days.”

Palm Beach County infectious disease specialist Dr. Larry Bush said more cases will be emerging, according to WPBF-TV.

“If we have a case, potentially, in Florida, a case in Massachusetts and a case in New York, then there are several other cases in the United States yet to be diagnosed and they will show up,” Bush said.

“It would be quite coincidental that we have three cases, one in Florida, one in New England and one in New York, that have nothing to do with each other. We’re going to see more cases,” he said.

Bush said those who have traveled to areas where monkeypox has been spread need to be aware of any rash that emerges.

“We have to make people really aware now. When you see a rash, the first thing that has to go through your mind is, ‘Could this be monkeypox? Let me understand what that looks like and let me understand who I need to call and what I need to do,'” he said.

“Obviously, we have to be cognizant of people who traveled not just to Africa but to parts of Europe and Canada and Australia and keep in mind that the first presentation of a rash needs to be investigated and that person needs to be isolated and their contacts investigated until proven otherwise,” Bush said.

Bush said international travel contributes to the spread of diseases.

“We have a global travel situation right now and it’s the same reason we had COVID coming into the east coast and the west coast,” he said. “We have a very populated world and billions of them travel on a regular basis and that’s the reason we have diseases that are easily spread from one place to another before you can even wake up in the morning.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.