Garfield County sees first confirmed case of monkeypox |

Garfield County sees first confirmed case of monkeypox

Garfield County Public Health building in Glenwood Springs.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Risk to the general community remains low after one case of monkeypox was confirmed in Garfield County, according to a Garfield County news release.

“(Garfield County Public Health) is working to reduce the risk of transmission through awareness and education efforts,” the release states. “If you think or know you have been exposed to monkeypox, contact a health care provider as soon as possible as they can determine if you are eligible for vaccine and treatment, which work best if administered early. Your provider may order a monkeypox test to determine illness.”

There were 53 confirmed monkeypox cases statewide as of Wednesday, according to Centers for Disease Control data.

Monkeypox is typically transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, direct contact with body fluids or prolonged face-to-face contact with someone already infected, the release states.

“Anyone is at risk of contracting monkeypox through close contact,” the release states.

Most who become ill recover within 2-4 weeks and the disease is rarely fatal.

“It may begin with flu-like symptoms that can include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion,” the release states. “Typically, within five days after the onset of fever, a rash that can look like pimples or blisters may appear on the face or inside the mouth and then spread to other parts of the body. Contact a health care provider and avoid physical contact with others if you think you have been exposed or are experiencing symptoms. A person is contagious with monkeypox until all of the scabs on the skin have fallen off and a fresh layer of skin has formed.”

Although vaccines exists, they are not yet available in Garfield County. Men age 18 and older who are gay, bisexual or other men who have recently had sex with men who have had anonymous or multiple partners in the last 14 days will receive priority as recommended by the CDC, the release states.

“Anyone who believes they have been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox in the last 14 days is also eligible for the vaccine. Getting the vaccine between four and 14 days after exposure can help prevent severe illness but may not completely prevent infection.”

The first case in Colorado was confirmed in May.

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