The widening monkeypox outbreak continues to spark concern through the nation as federal officials weigh a possible nationwide public health emergency declaration. The Florida Department of Health in Osceola County (FDOH-Osceola) has now officially responded to the outbreak.

There are cases of monkeypox in at least 46 states and Washington DC , however, there have been no monkeypox-related deaths outside of endemic countries and the risk of monkeypox to the general population remains low.

In the event of a monkeypox case, FDOH-Osceola will conduct epidemiological investigations to notify possible exposures and offer post-exposure prophylaxis based on vaccine availability. FDOH- Osceola will offer the monkeypox vaccine to high-risk groups as doses become more readily available from the federal government.

Up to date information on monkeypox is available at Case data for monkeypox, as well as other reportable diseases, can be found on

If health care providers suspect a possible case of monkeypox, immediately contact your local health department or the 24/7 disease reporting hotline at 850-245-4401. Local county health departments can offer guidance on how providers may obtain monkeypox virus-specific real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.

Human-to-human transmission generally requires prolonged, face-to-face contact, direct contact with lesion materials, or indirect contact with lesion materials through contaminated items, such as contaminated clothing. Therefore, the risk of exposure remains low.

Health care providers should remain vigilant of information related to monkeypox:

  • Monkeypox symptoms, especially among individuals with relevant travel history.
  • Transmission and incubation periods.
  • Specimen collection.
  • Infection control procedures in the home and hospital settings.
  • Clinical recognition and the characteristic rash associated with monkeypox.
  • Prophylaxis and possible treatments for monkeypox.

Monitoring of those exposed to monkeypox.The public should also remain vigilant of the current meningococcal outbreak. Demographic impacts are similar among meningococcal and monkeypox cases. The meningococcal vaccines are available to high-risk populations at every county health department, free of charge. Floridians can find more information on meningococcal disease by clicking here.