Colorado is currently monitoring the health of two people who were potentially exposed to a rare disease on a recent flight.

As per reports from FOX31 (KDVR), the news station received confirmation from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) on Monday, July 26 that two people who had potential exposure to monkeypox were being monitored by the state after encountering an infected traveler on a flight.

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If you haven't heard of monkeypox, you're not the only one --

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with monkeypox virus. In humans, the symptoms of monkeypox are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox.

Monkeypox typically begins with a fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion; other initial symptoms include:

  • Backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
Getty Images
Monkeypox lesions - Getty Images

Within 1 to 3 days after the appearance of a fever, a person with monkeypox will typically develop a rash, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body. Rashes, turned lesions then progress through the following stages before eventually falling off:

  • Macules
  • Papules
  • Vesicles
  • Pustules
  • Scabs

A human could be ill with monkeypox anywhere from 2−4 weeks, as per the CDC.

Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research, hence the name ‘monkeypox.’ The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo; since then, monkeypox has been reported in humans in other central and western African countries.

Human monkeypox infections have only been documented six times outside of Africa, according to the CDC.

However, on July 15, the CDC confirmed a case of human monkeypox in a U.S. citizen who recently traveled from Nigeria to the United States.

The CDC is currently working with airline, state and local health officials to contact and assess the potential risks to over 200 people who might have been in contact with the patient - whose identity has not been disclosed - during two flights: Lagos, Nigeria, to Atlanta on July 8, with arrival on July 9; and Atlanta to Dallas on July 9.

While human-to-human transmission is rare, the CDC says infections with this strain of monkeypox are fatal in about 1 in 100 people who become infected. Rates, however, could be higher for people who have weakened immune systems.

In Africa, monkeypox has been shown to cause death in as many as 1 in 10 persons who contract the disease.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) told FOX31 on Monday that both individuals currently under the state's watch appeared healthy with no symptoms of infection; however, both individuals will continued to be monitored daily by public health through July 30, which will mark the end of the monkeypox incubation period, according to CDPHE. 

To learn more about monkeypox or to stay up to date with the latest monkeypox cases in the U.S, visit 

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