ATLANTA — Public health officials say the number of suspected monkeypox cases has reached a new milestone.
Federal public health officials are reporting at least 260 suspected cases of the virus in the state. The first case in Georgia was reported in June, but the first case in the U.S. was reported in Massachusetts in May.
Symptoms of the illness include a blister rash. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also lists fever, chills and fatigue as known symptoms, with people reporting muscle aches and headaches. However, Georgia Department of Public Health leaders say the symptoms have varied in patients in the state.
The cases are listed from diagnoses most recently reported.
As of Monday, July 25, the Georgia Department of Public Health said the state has 268 current monkeypox cases. To help curb the climbing numbers, metro Atlanta health departments are holding vaccine events and starting to offer vaccine appointments during clinic hours, health officials said.
The CDC updated its monkeypox tracking map Monday showing Georgia has at least 110 suspected cases of the virus.
As of the DPH's last report, all confirmed cases have been reported in individuals who identify as men who have sex with men. Georgia's public health agency is working to create an online scheduling system for the monkeypox vaccine as allocations increase to help stifle the outbreak.
"While many of those affected in the current global outbreaks are gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox can get the illness," DPH said.
Georgia DPH reported there are 93 cases of monkeypox in the state. All the cases are among males
As of this point, the state had received 3,000 doses of the two-dose vaccine, which is enough for 1,500 patients.
"Allocation of monkeypox vaccine from the federal government will increase as production of the vaccine ramps up," DPH leaders said.
Georgia ranked among the top 10 states, including Washington D.C. in areas with the highest number of suspected monkeypox cases, according to the CDC's latest update.
Federal public health officials tracking the virus nationally noted Georgia had 69 suspected infections.
In an update, Georgia's DPH said more than half of the state's cases have been reported in men who identify as Black. The median age of patients is 33, according to state officials.
CDC officials are reporting the Peach State has at least 30 suspected cases of the virus. Georgia's DPH has not confirmed if each case is monkeypox.
As Georgia's monkeypox numbers begin to climb, Fulton County hosted its first vaccination clinic to combat the spread of the virus. During the week, Health and Human Services leaders said the nation is purchasing more vaccines.
Georgia DPH confirmed the state has 11 total monkeypox cases.
That means public health officials added three new cases since its last report to 11Alive. Officials said they are all men and live in the metro Atlanta area.
Georgia DPH leaders confirmed two more cases of the virus on Tuesday, meaning seven men in the state have been diagnosed with the rare disease.
They said these most recent cases added are men living in metro Atlanta and have no known history of travel. The patients are isolating at home, according to health officials.
News of the additional cases comes as the CDC has opened its emergency operations center in response to the rise in monkeypox cases across the U.S. More than 300 of its staff will collaborate with health partners locally, nationally and internationally to further help with the outbreak.
The state's Department of Public Health said there are now confirmed five confirmed cases of monkeypox in Georgia. Both patients are men.
The news comes roughly four weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first identified an orthopoxvirus case in Georgia that was later confirmed to be monkeypox.
Georgia is reporting its third case of monkeypox.
The third man diagnosed with the virus recently traveled to a convention in Chicago, DPH confirmed on June 17. He is also isolating.
The individual diagnosed with monkeypox in the second instance was described as a metro Atlanta man with a history of international travel. He is said to be isolating at home and contact tracing is underway
Dr. Cherie Drenzek mentioned the second case during a presentation at the state Board of Public Health meeting on June 14. She outlined the belief that the current global outbreak of monkeypox is a product of person-to-person community spread.
June 6 - Georgia's first case
Georgia's DPH said it received confirmation from the CDC that the initial orthopoxvirus case is indeed monkeypox.
The Atlanta-based federal public health agency reported an orthopoxvirus diagnosis in a metro Atlanta man. Georgia DPH health officials said he is still monitoring his symptoms in isolation as they continue contact tracing. They are not sure where he may have contracted the virus.
More on monkeypox
Those who contract the virus typically have symptoms for two to four weeks, according to the World Health Organization. Global health leaders said that severe monkeypox cases happen in children "and are related to the extent of virus exposure, patient health status, and complications."
Currently, smallpox vaccines and antiviral treatments can be used to control outbreaks. The Department of Health and Human services tells 11Alive it has enough vaccines to manage the current outbreak.