WHO says most monkeypox cases are in the Americas; Osceola County reports uptick
The number of monkeypox cases reported globally dropped by 21% in the last week, reversing a month-long trend of rising infections.
Monkeypox cases in the Americas accounted for 60% of cases while cases in Europe comprised about 38%, the World Health Organization reported Thursday.
The agency said infections in the Americas showed “a continuing steep rise.”
That includes Florida, where 997 cases have been confirmed through Wednesday. More than 750 of those cases are in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
Health officials in Osceola County are warning people about an uptick in cases. So far, there are three confirmed cases and 14 probable cases of the viral infection. Health officials there are offering free monkeypox vaccine clinics to eligible people at the county health department's main campus in Kissimmee.
Anyone who suspects they’ve been exposed to the virus, has had frequent sexual partners in the last two weeks or is a gay or bisexual man is eligible to participate. Appointments are required, and the hepatitis A and meningitis vaccines will also be available on site.
Globally, cases dropped by 21% in the last week, reversing a month-long trend of rising infections in a possible sign the outbreak may be starting to decline in Europe, the WHO reported.
The U.N. health agency reported 5,907 new weekly cases and said two countries, Iran and Indonesia, reported their first cases. To date, more than 45,000 cases have been reported in 98 countries since late April.
According to the Centers for DIsease Control and Prevention, more than 16,600 cases have been reported in the U.S. through Wednesday.
Since monkeypox outbreaks in Europe and North America were identified in May, health officials have noted its spread has almost been exclusively in gay and bisexual men.
However, anyone can get it through close contact with infected people or beddings or linens that have touched sores of those infected.
Flu-like symptoms and a rash on the face and hands are often early symptoms of the illness.
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