TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — There are more than 300 cases of monkeypox identified in the United States, and now three cases have been confirmed in the Tampa Bay area. There were two cases in Pinellas County and one in Polk, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.
Most of the cases in Florida have occurred in Broward County, where there were 25 of the state’s confirmed cases.
Across the state, there were 35 confirmed cases as of June 29. Case counts were available on Florida’s CHART reports. A national plan to respond to the current outbreak of monkeypox in the country was announced Wednesday.
The county with the second most cases in Florida was Miami-Dade, where there were six confirmed cases.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention activated its Emergency Operations Center to respond to the 2022 monkeypox outbreak on Wednesday as part of the national response. The CDC first confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. in May. It’s been detected in 27 states and the District of Columbia.
Officially, the CDC declared an outbreak on May 17. “Fourteen patients of the 17 patients reported international travel involving 11 different countries during the 21 days preceding symptom onset,” the CDC reported. The agency said all patients had rash onset dates from May 1 to May 27.
So far, the majority of cases have been detected in California and New York, with 80 and 72 confirmed cases, respectively.
The FDOH reports that vaccines are available for monkeypox, and vaccination is recommended within 14 days of exposure to someone with a monkeypox infection. However, the state health department says “vaccination should take place as soon as possible (within four days of exposure) to reduce the risk of disease onset.”
Both the CDC and FDOH report human-to-human transmission needs prolonged face-to-face contact or direct contact with an active monkeypox rash to spread, though indirect contact with items contaminated by an active rash, such as clothing or bed sheets, is still possible. “The risk of exposure remains low,” as a result.