Florida surpasses 100 monkeypox cases amid expansion of screening

By: - July 12, 2022 9:31 am
A microscopic photograph of the monkeypox virus.

A microscopic photograph of the monkeypox virus. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

TALLAHASSEE, Florida — A second major commercial laboratory is offering monkeypox testing, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday as Florida cases of the monkeypox virus surpassed 100.

The CDC had announced that Labcorp began testing last week for monkeypox, a disease spreading across the nation and worldwide that can cause a characteristic rash and other symptoms; complications can include bronchopneumonia, sepsis, encephalitis, and infection of the cornea, according to the World Health Organization.

Starting Monday, Mayo Clinic Laboratories began monkeypox testing using the CDC’s orthopoxvirus test at its Mayo Clinic’s Division of Clinical Microbiology labs to further expand testing capacity, according to a CDC press release.

The Mayo Clinic can accept specimens from any location in the country and expects to perform up to 10,000 tests per week, the CDC noted.

In Florida, cases have climbed to 105 across 10 counties, with South Florida reporting the most infections, according to the latest data from the Florida Department of Health. Broward County has reported 67 and Miami-Dade has reported 18.

Meanwhile, the WHO has announced a plan to change the name of the rare disease that has been endemic in several Central and West African countries but now circulating globally, but has not yet revealed the new nomenclature.

Nationwide, New York has seen the most monkeypox cases (153), followed by California (136), according to the latest data from the CDC. There have been 8,238 cases in 57 countries, the CDC reported, as of Monday afternoon.

CDC officials advise that anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox should consult with their health care provider about whether to get tested for the disease.

“CDC anticipates additional commercial laboratories will come online in the coming days, and monkeypox testing capacity will continue to increase throughout the month of July,” according to the CDC.

Early data suggest that “gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up a high number of cases,” CDC said on its website. However, anyone can become infected with monkeypox if they have been in close contact with someone who has the virus.

This story was first published by the Florida Phoenix, part of the States Newsroom network of news bureaus that includes the Louisiana Illuminator.


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