Monkeypox: South Florida health officials, CDC investigating possible case

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Health officials in South Florida are investigating after a person was diagnosed with a presumptive case of monkeypox on Sunday, the Miami Herald reported.

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According to the newspaper, officials from the Florida Department of Health in Broward County announced that a person had been isolated.

“This case is related to international travel, and the person remains isolated,” the department said in a statement. “At this time, DOH-Broward has not identified any additional cases.”

Broward County officials said the agency is being assisted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to find and notify other people who might have been exposed to the virus.

Because human-to-human transmission generally requires long face-to-face contact or direct contact, the risk of exposure to monkeypox remains low, WFOR-TV reported.

On Friday, the CDC issued a health advisory about monkeypox, WSVN-TV reported.

The news in Florida comes after New York City health officials announced on Friday an investigation of a suspected case of monkeypox after a patient tested positive for the family of viruses associated with the rare illness.

>> First case of monkeypox in US this year confirmed in Massachusetts

The disease can be fatal to 10% of people contracting the virus, the CDC said.

The World Health Organization has identified about 80 cases globally, and roughly 50 more suspected cases, according to the AP.

According to the CDC, two cases of monkeypox were reported in the U.S. in 2021.

>> What is monkeypox and what are the symptoms?

The first was confirmed on July 15, 2021, by the Texas Department of State Health Services, according to the CDC. An American citizen who traveled from Nigeria to the U.S. on two commercial flights was found to have the virus. Health officials identified more than 200 people who had possibly been exposed to the patient, but after 21 days there were no additional cases identified.

A second case in the U.S. was identified on Nov. 16, 2021, in Maryland, according to a news release from the Maryland Department of Health. It also involved a person traveling from Nigeria to the U.S., the CDC said.

>> New York City health officials investigating suspected monkeypox case

According to the CDC, monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research. The first human case of the virus was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In 2003, there were 47 confirmed and probable cases of monkeypox across six U.S. states -- Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin, according to The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

All people infected with the virus that year became ill after having contact with pet prairie dogs and was the first time monkeypox had been reported outside of Africa, according to the Journal.