Pueblo confirms 1st monkeypox case

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Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 12:00 PM MDT
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PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - Pueblo health officials have confirmed the county’s first case of monkeypox.

“The presence of this virus in Pueblo County is unwelcome news, but not a surprise, and I am hopeful this person recovers quickly,” said Randy Evetts, public health director at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. “We have been closely following the global spread of hMPXV and continue to maintain close communication with experts from CDPHE.”

No details about the patient have been released. The state health department is still investigating the case and contacting anyone who was potentially exposed.

El Paso County reported its first case last month. The first presumptive monkeypox case in Colorado was confirmed in late May.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), monkeypox:

- is rarely fatal,

- is spread through close contact, including sexual contact,

- is not likely to be transmitted through short interactions without physical contact.

The health department says there is an effective vaccine for monkeypox that can be administered soon after exposure to prevent or lessen the severity of the illness. Vaccine supplies are currently limited, but the state anticipates receiving more vaccines in the coming months.

“Anyone can get monkeypox: men, women and children.  While some communities are at higher risk currently, we should not stigmatize this disease and must work to assure that anyone who is exposed is comfortable seeking care,” said Randy Evetts, public health director at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.

Below is more information on monkeypox from CDPHE:

Transmission:

Monkeypox is primarily spread through close contact with a person who has acquired monkeypox. Transmission typically requires skin-to-skin contact with a sick person’s lesions, rash, or skin bumps. Transmission through respiratory droplets is possible, but requires a prolonged interaction, as opposed to COVID-19, which can potentially be transmitted in minutes. Close contacts may include family members, people taking care of ill patients, anyone who has shared bed linens with someone who is sick, or anyone who has had prolonged exposure to a person with monkeypox. Epidemiological data on recent cases suggests there may be a heightened risk for people who have recently traveled to a country where monkeypox has been reported or men who have sex with other men. State epidemiologists are coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control to monitor the progression of the virus and learn more about transmission.

Clinicians are urged to become familiar with signs and symptoms of hMPXV, and should immediately contact the PDPHE if they suspect the virus in a patient. The Health Department will continue to outreach to local physicians and practice groups to support them with the latest data and best practice information.

Symptoms:

Monkeypox often begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion. Typically, a rash develops within one to four days after the onset of fever, often beginning on the face and spreading to other parts of the body. In some cases, the rash often starts in the genital or perianal area. The associated monkeypox rash can look similar to other infections like syphilis or herpes. The incubation period for monkeypox is usually seven to 14 days but can range from five to 21 days. Most people recover within two to four weeks. Coloradans can help prevent the spread of monkeypox by avoiding close physical contact with individuals who have acquired monkeypox, wearing a high-quality mask if they will be spending time in close contact with someone experiencing symptoms of monkeypox, and contacting a health care provider as soon as possible if they experience symptoms.

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