New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds the United States now leads globally in the most known cases of monkeypox.
The numbers show more than 3,800 cases have been reported in the U.S, but national health officials believe there are many more.
In Florida, more than 300 cases have been reported. In Georgia, that number just over 250.
As cases of monkeypox rise in New York City, people are lining up to get the vaccine that prevents it. New figures from the New York City Department of Health put the number of people that have tested positive for monkeypox at 1,092.
Researchers are still exploring how it spreads but believe it’s mainly through close, skin-to-skin contact and through contact with bedding and clothing that touched an infected person’s rash or body fluids.
“It’s a horrible skin disorder,” Ivan Peralta told the Associated Press after receiving the monkeypox vaccine at a clinic in Harlem. The 52-year-old who lives in Hoboken, New Jersey had to cross the river to New York in order to get the vaccine.
The World Health Organization recently declared the expanding monkeypox outbreak a global emergency.
In the U.S. and Europe, the vast majority of infections have happened in men who have sex with men, though health officials have stressed that anyone can contract the virus. A handful of children and a few women are among those who have been infected in the U.S., but health officials believe a lot of spread is happening between sex partners.
“It’s moving pretty quickly just not in the city, but across the world so hopefully we don’t have another... crisis at our hands in the near future,” Edgard Izaguirre said. Izaguirre got the vaccination because he was worried about the spread of the disease.
Monkeypox is related to smallpox, so much so that vaccine development has been ongoing for years. The U.S. has been distributing the Jynneos vaccine to state and local health departments. It has pledged to ramp up distribution.
In the U.S., nearly every state has had at least one case, though infections have so far been concentrated in a handful, including New York, California, Florida, Illinois and Georgia. The U.S. has been distributing vaccines to state and local health departments and vows to boost distribution in the days ahead.
The CDC is recommending vaccines for people who know they have been exposed to monkeypox or those who have had multiple sex partners in the past 14 days in a place with known monkeypox.
There have been no deaths outside the areas where monkeypox is endemic, but some infected people have said they had painful lesions.