Global leaders call to consider declaring public health emergency amid rising monkeypox cases in Florida

by | Jul 15, 2022


  • Global leaders will discuss declaring a global health emergency amid the proliferating spread of monkeypox
  • Florida is a state with one of the highest case counts, trailing only New York, California, and Illinois – all states with a densely-populated city 
  • Rep. Charlie Crist wrote to the Biden administration requesting rapid improvement in federal response to the outbreak

Global health leaders will delegate in late July to decide whether it is necessary to declare that the small-scale, but growing, spread of monkeypox is a global health emergency. Stateside, Florida is among the hardest-hit states alongside similarly populated states New York, California, and Illinois.

According to state health data, the rare illness endemic to Central and West Africa has spread to 12 Floridian counties, with the majority occurring in South Florida. Broward County accounts for the highest concentration with 90 cases while Miami-Dade trails closely behind with 22.

Human-to-human transmission generally requires prolonged, face-to-face contact, direct contact with an active rash, or indirect contact with an active rash through contaminated items, such as contaminated clothing. Therefore, the risk of exposure remains low, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The risk of monkeypox to the general public is generally low, though vaccines used for smallpox have been shown to be effective in preventing monkeypox.

Amid reports that the Florida vaccine supply is not keeping up with the demand, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist on Thursday sent a letter to President Biden urging rapid improvements in the federal response to the growing Monkeypox outbreak in Florida.

“I have heard the same concerns over and over again from constituents, friends, community leaders, and providers across Florida. People can’t get tested, can’t get vaccinated, and can’t get any answers,” said Crist. “We spent the first year of the COVID pandemic fighting a disease we couldn’t treat or vaccinate against. Well, guess what? For Monkeypox, we HAVE a vaccine, we HAVE treatment, and we HAVE tests. We can – and must – be doing more to keep this illness from spreading.”

Crist’s suggestions include the instating of a monkeypox czar, the implementation of a centralized agency, and an improvement of tracing and testing. Crist compared the current state of monkeypox to the early stages of COVID-19 in February 2020, claiming that the virus was able to rapidly spread due to a lack of early testing and identification.

“We all know that COVID-19 effectively seeded the United States in February 2020 due to a lack of early, targeted testing and tracing. Similarly, Monkeypox has been spreading throughout the United States for the last two months,” Crist wrote. “I am hearing from constituents who suspect they’ve been exposed to Monkeypox but cannot get a Monkeypox test until they’ve tested negative for every other possible pathogen. By the time a positive Monkeypox test is returned, it is too late for treatment, too late for post-exposure prophylaxis, and too late for useful contact tracing. The publishing of timely, detailed, location-based data on positive tests and vaccine administration is imperative for preventing the spread.”

7 Comments

  1. Charles Lamberti

    Christ is seeking news exposure and trying to incite fear in the general population while claiming to have the needs of the people of Florida as his real concern. Please give me a break. Just another Romney but in a different suit.

    Reply
  2. Emma Sivewright

    This call to action from global leaders isUrgent! As the World Health Organization (WHO) warns of an increase in monkeypox cases in Florida, it is critical that we take all possible steps to prevent further spread. Do you know of any organizations or individuals who could help to declare a public health emergency? Please let us know.
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    • Sylvia A Croft

      Please don’t try to pull another Covid lock down situation on us. We have had all we can stand of all this. Just as flu can be deadly and we live with it and don’t try to stop people from working, school, etc, we won’t stand for ruining the economy in Florida!

      Reply
  3. Steve Martenzs

    The Capitolist is publishing an article highlighting leaders from around the globe calling for a public health emergency to be declared amid rising monkeypox cases in Florida. The call to consider declaring a public health emergency comes as the virus continues to spread across the state.
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  4. Kurt widderick

    The Capitolist is a weekly column written by reporters in both the United States and abroad. Our goal is to provide information and perspectives on global issues, including public health.
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  5. Martin mitchel

    The Capitolist is a new website that provides global leaders with an easy way to share ideas and tips on how to improve public health. The site offers a variety of resources, including articles on global health issues, news briefs, and a blog.
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