According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida is currently ranked fourth in the country for the number of monkeypox infections.
“We need to be aggressive in stopping the transmission of this virus," said Miami Beach Commissioner Alex Fernandez.
The latest data show 442 cases in the Sunshine State on Monday.
“Last week, the state of Florida had 273 cases — now we’re up to 442 cases," said Fernandez, who rang the alarm Monday.
According to the Florida Department of Health, Miami-Dade documented County 73 cases last week. As of the last check Monday, there are 108 cases. In Broward County, the latest total is at least 211.
“We're reaching out to our federal lobbyists. We’re reaching out to the FDOH. We’re asking for there to be more vaccines to Miami-Dade County and city of Miami Beach," Fernandez said.
While monkeypox is not deadly, it is spread to anyone through close, personal and often skin-to-skin contact, including direct contact with rashes, scabs, or bodily fluids.
Right now, monkeypox is spreading fast among men who have sex with men. But there are concerns that as school is set to start, transmission could dramatically increase among other populations.
“It boils down to what we're doing and how we’re facilitating the virus by the types of interactions we have," FUI professor Dr. Aileen Marty said.
Marty says monkeypox is not confined to just one group of people.
“If we’re not very aggressive right now in protecting the population that’s most at risk, which is men who have sex with men, through no fault of their own, that virus is going to spread to other populations who may be at higher risk of having more severe disease," Dr. Marty said.
On Monday, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut expressed concern about the country’s handling of the virus. He called on President Joe Biden to ramp up vaccine production.
"The federal government has the raw materials for 11 million doses, it should put those raw materials to work right away through the defense production act," Blumenthal said.
If you suspect you or someone you know has monkeypox, get tested and isolate. New York, California, and Illinois are the top 3 states with the virus.