TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Florida Department of Health confirmed nearly 200 cases of monkeypox in the state as of July 18. As the virus spreads, new cases have been confirmed in several Tampa Bay area counties.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s page tracking the monkeypox outbreak in the U.S. updates every day, Monday through Friday. In the most recently available data, through July 18, there were 1,972 cases of monkeypox/orthopoxvirus confirmed in the nation.
For Florida, the CDC had a reported 180 cases, but due to a reporting lag, the FDOH reported a higher number of cases. Florida itself reported a total of 180 cases on July 17, meaning the CDC data is roughly one day behind. Currently, FDOH reports 196 monkeypox cases in the state.
All told, as of July 18, Florida accounted for 9.93% of all monkeypox cases in the U.S., when factoring the state-reported total and the national total from the CDC.
Of the counties in the Tampa area that have cases confirmed, Pinellas has the most, at nine.
|County||Case Count as of July 17|
The distinction of having the most cases in the state so far belongs to Broward County, with 103 of the state’s overall 196 cases. Miami-Dade County has the next highest total by county, at 51 cases confirmed.
According to reporting by the Hill, the data’s biggest issue is a lack of testing.
In their past report, Leana Wen, a research professor of health policy and management at George Washington University as well as Baltimore’s former health commissioner, told The Hill the monkeypox outbreak felt similar to the earlier part of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Probably the most significant one to me is the lack of testing. We saw during COVID that every case that was found was like the canary in the coal mine, that they really were just the tip of the iceberg,” Wen told the Hill. “And that was because there was such little testing available. Why haven’t we learned our lesson?”
Currently, New York and California remain the states with the most cases. New York has 521 cases, while California has 267, according to the CDC. In Florida, the state with the next highest number of cases, comparatively, is Illinois with its 200 cases.