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Posted on: August 9, 2022

La Plata County resident diagnosed, treated for monkeypox

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A La Plata County resident has been diagnosed with and treated for monkeypox, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). Public health is investigating the case and completing contact tracing. Prior to the confirmation, SJBPH has been working to coordinate local resources for testing, treatment and vaccination to address the national public health emergency.

SJBPH has secured limited Jynneos vaccine from the national strategic reserve, allowing for timely distribution of the vaccine to individuals who have had close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of monkeypox. Due to shortages in national vaccine supply, SJBPH is not able to provide pre-exposure vaccination to high-risk individuals, though production has increased following the emergency declaration and additional supply is expected in the coming weeks.

To sign up to receive notifications from SJBPH about future vaccine availability, fill out this form:https://tinyurl.com/mr4cskdz

Monkeypox began spreading this spring in parts of the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. It is endemic in central and West Africa. It is spread between people through close contact with an infected person’s sores, bumps or lesions or through prolonged face-to-face contact with someone who is sick. It can also spread through contact with the bed linens or clothing of someone who is sick.

Epidemiological data on recent cases suggest there is a heightened risk for men who have sex with other men, in particular those with new or multiple partners. Anyone can contract monkeypox regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, or other factors. The CDC has determined that the risk to the general public is low.

Early symptoms of monkeypox 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. This rash usually starts on the face and then spreads to the arms and legs. Sometimes, the rash may start in the genital area. Some people don’t feel any symptoms before they get a rash. Some people experience a rash that does not appear externally but can be very painful. Monkeypox can look like syphilis, herpes, blisters, or acne.

If you believe you may have been exposed or are experiencing symptoms, contact your health care provider for a medical evaluation and inquire about testing.

Monkeypox is rarely fatal, but can make a person very sick, but most people recover fully within two to four weeks. In most cases, monkeypox will resolve on its own though there is effective treatment available. Contact your health care provider to learn about treatment options.

Individuals 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.

For more information, please visit https://sjbpublichealth.org/monkeypox/.

San Juan Basin Public Health is a local public health agency, governed by a seven-member local Board of Health, serving all residents of La Plata and Archuleta counties. For over 70 years, San Juan Basin Public Health has improved the health and environment of the Southwest Colorado community.

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