Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) has just confirmed its first cases of monkeypox within the county.

According to an Aug. 9 press release via BCPH, four Boulder County residents were confirmed to have tested positive for the monkeypox virus.

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What is Monkeypox?

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.

3D generated image of DNA spiral being attacked by monkeypox Virus.
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Monkeypox Symptoms: 

For some people, monkeypox can feel like the flu at first, Boulder County Public Health says.

Early symptoms can include:

  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • exhaustion

Most people tend to develop a rash or skin bumps one to three days after they first start feeling sick as a result of the virus; some people might not even feel any symptoms before they get the virus-indicating rash, as per BCPH's press release.

In many cases, monkeypox will resolve on its own without specific treatment after two to four weeks, although, antiviral medications might be recommended to some people who either develop a more severe case of the virus or have a compromised immune system.

How many Monkeypox cases have been found in Colorado?

As of Monday (Aug. 8), the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) has reported 80 cases in Colorado.

Monkeypox virus
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Monkeypox Cases Detected In Larimer County 

On July 26, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) identified the first monkeypox case in Larimer County; at that time, the risk of monkeypox to the public was deemed low.

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However, Dr. Lexi Nolen, Acting Executive Director at Boulder County Public Health says that it's important for everyone - regardless of whether or not you're infected - to 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,” as per the state health department's Aug. 9 press release.

How To Prevent Yourself From Getting Monkeypox

In an effort to best ensure prevention from becoming infected with monkeypox, CPDHE says taking the following measures could help support immunity from the virus:

  • 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

To learn more about monkeypox in Colorado and for further information about how to protect yourself against the virus, visit the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment's website. 

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