Department of Health reassuring risk is low after monkeypox case in Collier County

Reporter: Jennifer Morejon Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

The first case of monkeypox has been detected in Southwest Florida. Not a lot is known about Southwest Florida’s monkeypox case other than the case was confirmed in June.

The Florida Department of Health says there are 51 cases throughout the state. There are 5,700 cases of monkeypox worldwide. Four hundred sixty cases are in the United States. There have been no reported deaths in the U.S.

The Department of Health in Collier County wants everyone to understand there is no reason to panic. This virus is rare, and the risk for the public is very low.

“We do have a confirmed case of monkeypox here in Collier County. However, it does have to be known the risk to the general public does remain very low,” said Kristine Hollingsworth, with Florida’s Department of Health for Collier County.

Hollingsworth said most cases in Florida are in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

“The monkeypox strain that we are seeing right now is primarily affecting members of our LGBTQ community and especially men who have sex with men,” said Hollingsworth.

What we know about the local case is that the patient got infected outside the state and is between 40 and 45 years old.

“We do want to get those precautionary measures out there. First and foremost to inform everyone so all of our residents and visitors stay safe,” said Hollingsworth.

The tell-tale signs of monkeypox include flu-like symptoms and skin lesions. Monkeypox can spread through direct contact with the rash, respiratory droplets or sexual contact.

Scientists say it can take anywhere from five to 21 days of exposure to monkeypox to actually contract that virus.

“There are certain groups that can receive the smallpox vaccine, which is effective against monkeypox,” Hollingsworth said.

For more information on the smallpox vaccine, you can call your doctor.

As of Tuesday, no monkeypox cases have been detected in Lee or Charlotte counties.

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