ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The first case of monkeypox was reported in Orange County on Friday, the Florida Department of Health said.
According to the health department, the patient is a woman in her 30s who didn’t get sick from travel.
Monkeypox is a rare disease related to smallpox. It was discovered in 1958 when an outbreak happened in a colony of monkeys kept for research. It was first seen in humans in 1970.
The disease spreads through inhalation of respiratory droplets from an infected person or some contact with the lesions the virus causes. You can also get the virus by contact with bodily fluids or by having contact with such things as an infected person’s bed linen.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the disease starts with the following symptoms:
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
Within one to three days after having a fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body.
According to the CDC, “Currently, there is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox virus infection. For controlling a potential outbreak, the smallpox vaccine is given.”
The illness typically lasts two to four weeks.
“I expect we’ll see some more cases,” said Jarod Fox, Orlando Health chief of infectious disease. The good thing is that the Department of Health is good at contact tracing.”
There are currently 21 presumed cases in the Sunshine State right now.
The outbreak has spread to more than 30 countries, including Canada, France and the United Kingdom.
“It can infect anybody. It doesn’t only infect certain individuals,” Fox said.
Doctors said washing your hands and sanitizing can help prevent you from getting monkeypox.
They recommend you be vigilant, aware of the company you keep and take precautions.
Monkeypox only spread through close contact.
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