MIAMI – Health authorities are investigating a possible case of monkeypox in Broward County, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) reported Sunday.
The Broward Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control are conducting epidemiological investigations into the case, which is related to foreign travel.
The affected person remains in isolation, a DOH statement said. The man recently made an international trip, where he presumably acquired the virus, and at the moment no other case of this virus has been identified in the state.
“The Department of Health in Broward has not identified any other additional cases,” the statement said, but they are proceeding to inform all people who may have been exposed, although they recalled that the risk of contagion from this disease is “relatively low.” .
Monkeypox is a rare virus first discovered in 1958.
This finding comes after US authorities detected the first case of monkeypox in the country on Wednesday, where they issued a health alert on Friday.
Monkeypox is rarely identified outside of Africa, but as of last Friday there were 80 confirmed cases worldwide, including at least two in the United States and another 50 possible cases.
The virus was discovered in an adult male resident of the state of Massachusetts who recently traveled to Canada.
The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to that of the now eradicated smallpox, although somewhat milder – fever, headache, muscle pain, back pain, chills and exhaustion – and there is often swollen glands and a skin rash, that begins on the face and spreads to other parts of the body, mainly hands and feet.
The first case was reported in Africa.
Dr. Dadilia Garcés, an epidemiologist and professor at Miami Dade College, advises that “if someone presents these symptoms and the most characteristic rash, they must isolate themselves and go to their doctor to receive the appropriate treatment.”
Patients usually recover in two to four weeks without hospitalization, but it is sometimes fatal.
Person-to-person transmission can occur via the respiratory route after prolonged contact with the patient and through sexual intercourse.
There are no vaccines or specific treatments, but according to the World Health Organization, the smallpox vaccine in humans has shown an efficacy of up to 85 percent.
“What is most striking are the skin lesions, which can leave very marked scars. Also high fever and malaise. what is the characteristic of it? It is that the rash will start on the face, the head, it will later be distributed in the rest of the body, but above all it will be very noticeable in the palms of the hands and in the feet”, explains Dr. Dadilia Garcés, epidemiologist and professor at Miami Dade College.
The states of Texas and Maryland each reported one case in 2021 with patients who had recently traveled to Nigeria. Since last May, cases of monkeypox have been discovered in several countries where this virus had not previously been detected.
Dr. Jaime Sepulveda, executive director of the UCSF Global Health Institute, warns that the disease “has a mortality rate between 1 to 10 percent, that is, it is much less severe than smallpox.”