Florida health officials recommend monkeypox vaccine as global outbreak continues

ORLANDO, Fla. — For the second time in two years, the World Health Organization has taken an extraordinary step.

Monkeypox is now being called a “global emergency.”

READ: Two children diagnosed with monkeypox in U.S., officials say

More than 16,000 monkeypox cases have been confirmed in 75 countries and territories.

Doctors said it’s generally a mild illness.


However, the Florida Department of Health said a limited number of vaccines are available.

Health leaders said most cases have been reported among men who identify as gay or bisexual and are immunocompromised.

WATCH: Infectious disease doctor weighs in on monkeypox concerns

Data shows no one in the U.S. had died from the virus, and as of Sunday, there are only 247 confirmed cases in Florida.

Health officials said they want to ensure monkeypox vaccines end up in the hands of those who need them most.

In a virtual press conference last week, officials with the Florida Department of Health said the state has received 25,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine.

READ: What is monkeypox and what are the symptoms?

The illness requires close, intimate contact with an infected person to be transmitted. It carries symptoms such as headaches, backaches, chills and fevers.

FDOH said it is focusing on getting the vaccines out to areas with the highest number of cases, which in our state has been primarily South Florida and those deemed most at risk.

In Central Florida, there have been 20 confirmed cases since the outbreak began in May.

Health officials said cases so far have been mild.

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