Orange County reports first case of monkeypox

(Image from

ORLANDO | The Florida Department of Health confirmed Orange County’s first case of monkeypox June 17.

According to the FDOH, the Orange County patient is between the ages of 35-39 but no other patient information has been released. This marks the 10th case of monkeypox in the state with Collier County reporting one case and Broward County reporting eight cases. Currently, the world is seeing an outbreak of the virus with 2,166 confirmed cases in 37 countries as of June 16, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. About 100 of those cases are in the U.S.

Concern over monkeypox has risen within the LGBTQ community as reports have shown most of the current cases are occurring in gay and bisexual men.

“So far the outbreak — both in Europe and here in the U.S. — has been predominantly in those individuals: gay, bisexual, men having sex with men, but that’s not the only population that has gotten it,” says Dr. Jarod Fox, chief of infectious disease with Orlando Health. “Anyone can get it, contract it. It just happens to be those populations that are now the majority of the cases.”

Monkeypox as a disease typically has symptoms similar to smallpox but are milder, according to the CDC. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. Within 1-3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body.

“What’s a little bit different in this outbreak is that a lot of [the patients] have not had those initial viral type symptoms like the fever and chills, they start off with the rash and sometimes those rashes can start in the mouth or in the genital area, depending on how it was transmitted,” Fox says. “So it is behaving a little bit different. It still has the typical characteristics of the rash itself but just some differences in how it is presenting, and I think that is due to the population that is currently presenting most of the cases. Those cases seem to be coming from close, sexual contact.”

The virus works in stages, Fox says, moving from the rash to a raised, fluid-filled bump or several bumps on the skin that eventually scab over. Fox advises if you think you may have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for monkeypox or if you see a rash or bumps, contact your primary care physician to be further evaluated.

“I don’t want everyone rushing to the ER because of every rash that they have because the majority of the time it’s not going to be monkeypox,” he says. “But especially if they have been exposed to someone that they know has tested positive, those are the high-risk ones who need to be tested.”

More in Health

See More