Doctors debunk monkeypox myths


LEE COUNTY, Fla. — There’s been a stigma surrounding monkeypox, including how you can contract the virus, how to treat it, and if anyone can get it.

“We have no clue what monkeypox is,” said Fort Myers resident Yvonne Brandau.

She is not the only one unfamiliar with the virus.

“I heard that there’s a few cases of monkeypox in Florida, but again, I don’t know what monkeypox is,” resident Bob Esterly said. “I saw on the news this morning that there’s a few cases here and a few cases in Collier.”

For some, like Michael Kellenberger, he has noticed rumors and myths circulating online about how you can contract the virus.

“Mostly due to your gay and lesbian population, I guess, and they also said that it’s transmission through fluids, bodily fluids,” Kellenberger said.

Doctor Mary Beth Saunders, Lee Health’s System Medical Director for Infection Prevention, said anyone can get it.


“It’s transmissible through contact, rarely through respiratory droplet secretions; those are through people who are significantly ill with pneumonia,” Saunders said.

Symptoms can be quite common to other illnesses, like having a fever and headaches.

“This virus does have a rash presentation about four or five days into exposure,” she said.

Saunders said Florida has one of the highest numbers of monkeypox cases. Most of those are in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

Since the end of July, Lee County has had four documented cases.

Tags: Lee CountyMonkeypoxSWFL


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