Boulder County, CO – Four individuals residing in Boulder County have tested positive for the monkeypox virus. As of August 8, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) has reported 80 cases in Colorado.
“It’s important that everyone be aware of this disease, so that those at risk can seek medical care and get tested promptly if they believe they have been exposed or have symptoms,” said Dr. Lexi Nolen, Acting Executive Director at Boulder County Public Health (BCPH).
Monkeypox is a rare virus that does not easily spread between people with casual contact, transmission can occur through contact with infectious sores and body fluids; contaminated items, such as clothing or bedding; or through respiratory droplets associated with prolonged face-to-face contact.
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For some people, monkeypox can feel like the flu at first. Early symptoms can include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion. Most people get a rash or skin bumps one to three days after they first start feeling sick. Some people don’t feel any symptoms before they get a rash.
In many cases, monkeypox will resolve on its own without specific treatment after two to four weeks. Antiviral medications may be recommended for some people who develop more severe illness or who have weakened immune systems.
Anyone can get monkeypox. The virus does not discriminate against any group.
To prevent the spread of monkeypox:
- Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Minimize skin-to-skin contact with individuals who have been exposed to the virus or to those showing a rash or skin sores.
- Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that have been in direct contact with someone with monkeypox.
- Reach out to a healthcare provider if you develop symptoms, as early recognition and testing can help prevent further transmission.
Anyone with symptoms of monkeypox should contact a healthcare provider as soon as possible. Avoid close contact with others. Wear a mask, cover any skin lesions or sores, and notify the provider before you arrive to seek care. Your provider may prescribe you antiviral treatment if indicated. Medical providers are encouraged to stay up to date on all information regarding testing, vaccinations, isolation, and treatment which is disseminated through the Colorado Notification System.
BCPH is closely monitoring the situation and working with state and local partners to implement a response plan. We are working with community partners including Beacon Center for Infectious Diseases, Boulder County AIDS Project, Out Boulder County, El Centro Amistad, and the Center for People with Disabilities to ensure testing and access to vaccines.
BCPH is co-hosting a virtual info session on Zoom with Boulder County Aids Project, Out Boulder County, and the Center for People with Disabilities on Wednesday, August 10 to share information on the monkeypox virus, transmission, and treatment. Register to attend here https://boco.org/9ejlpE. Live stream link will be available on the day of the event.
CDPHE is leading the state’s vaccination strategy. Due to the extremely limited federal supply of the Jynneos vaccine, CDPHE is currently prioritizing access to anyone who believes they have been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox in the last 14 days, men aged 18 years and older who are gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men who have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days.
Learn more about the virus and how to limit infection risk:
This press release was provided by Boulder County Public Health.