Monkeypox Resource Page
While Monkeypox (MPX) is a rare disease, there is an international increase in outbreaks involving Western Africa, Europe, North America, and cases are popping up in other areas as well; however, the risk to the general public is low.
The majority of Florida cases have been in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale metro areas. Presently, the case numbers and transmission rates in Hillsborough County are low.
Monkeypox in the same family as smallpox. It typically begins with flu-like symptoms then progresses to a rash. It can spread through direct prolonged contact with someone with an active rash or by handling items that have touched an infectious rash. The illness usually lasts 2–4 weeks. While there is a recent significant increase in reported cases, the current risk of getting monkeypox in the general public is low.
Monkeypox symptoms include an otherwise unexplainable skin rash or lesion, swollen lymph nodes, persistent fever, intense headaches, and intense muscle aches.
Monkeypox is not spread through casual conversations, walking by someone with monkeypox, or in an environment like a supermarket or department store, neither is it spread though touching items like doorknobs, coffee pots, or pencils. If you’re concerned that it will become the next COVID, that is highly unlikely because we know a lot about this disease and, furthermore, it is not airborne.
While MPX can infect anyone, the present spread is concentrated within the MSM (men who have sex with men) population. Furthermore, even though MPX is NOT a sexually transmitted disease, overwhelmingly, the method of transmission so far has been related to sexual activity (generally, with multiple MSM partners).
Monkeypox transmission can be prevented by avoiding close skin-to-skin contact with someone displaying symptoms (i.e., rash) of Monkeypox. Do not handle bedding, clothing, or towels of a sick person without appropriate protection. Wash your hands often, which is great for preventing any number of illnesses.
You may be familiar with the news that the Federal Government has shipped and continues to ship monkeypox vaccine to states, and therefore may be wondering about vaccine availability locally. Vaccines are currently primarily available to those that HAVE BEEN exposed to MPX and those with a history of STDs. As supply increases, vaccine operations will be modified to accommodate a broader distribution to include pre-exposure for at-risk groups.
For information on the monkeypox vaccine, click HERE.
Do you think you have or have been diagnosed with MPX? Click HERE for more information on how to protect yourself and others while you are symptomatic.
For more information on monkeypox or if you feel you may have been exposed, see your healthcare provider.