A second case of monkeypox in Pueblo County was confirmed Aug. 10, according to the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment, as the state of Colorado continues to see a significant uptick in human cases.
The second case in Pueblo is unrelated to the first, which was reported on Aug. 2, said Sarah Joseph, a spokesperson for the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.
The state health department has started a case investigation and is contact tracing. A total of 182 human monkeypox cases have been recorded in Colorado as of Aug. 19.
"Cases of monkeypox have increased in Colorado as the infectious virus spreads across the globe. The health department continues to stress the importance of contacting your primary care provider if you are experiencing symptoms including rash, bumps, or blisters," Joseph said.
Colorado's first human monkeypox case was identified in May. There were two recorded cases in May, six in June, and 66 in July; 108 cases have been recorded this month, as of Aug. 19.
Cases have been recorded in 19 counties and resulted in six hospitalizations, according to the state's monkeypox data dashboard, which was rolled out Aug. 18 to provide Coloradans with the latest information about monkeypox in the state, according to a CDPHE news release.
A total of 14,115 cases have been recorded in the U.S. as of Aug. 18, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What is monkeypox?
Human monkeypox virus is an Orthopoxvirus genus that also includes smallpox and cowpox viruses. Symptoms are like smallpox symptoms, but milder, and are uncomfortable but rarely fatal — the version of monkeypox spreading right now in non-endemic countries like the U.S. has a fatality rate of less than 1%, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The disease is endemic in Central and West Africa, Pueblo Health Director Randy Evetts said previously. The ongoing outbreak is the first major international spread of the disease.
Symptoms of monkeypox virus in humans include:
Muscle and back aches
Respiratory symptoms such as a sore throat, cough or nasal congestion
A rash, commonly on the genitals or anus but also on other areas of the body such as hands, feet, chest, face or mouth. A rash related to monkeypox will go through several stages, including scabbing, before healing. The rash can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
The incubation period for monkeypox is typically seven to 14 days but can range from five to 21 days, according to the state health department. Most people recover within two to four weeks.
The disease is less transmissible than COVID-19 — transmission through respiratory droplets is possible but requires a prolonged interaction, as opposed to COVID-19, which can potentially be transmitted in minutes — and is primarily spread through direct skin-to-skin contact, contact with body fluids, or prolonged face-to-face contact, rather than airborne transmission, according to PDPHE.
However, monkeypox can also be contracted through contact with objects; fabrics such as clothing, bedding or towels; and surfaces that have been used by someone who has the virus.
Puebloans who believe they may have contracted the monkeypox virus but do not have a primary care physician can call the Pueblo Community Health Center, an urgent care, or dial 211 to find other local resources.
Anyone with symptoms is urged to isolate.
Jynneos, a vaccine manufactured by Bavarian Nordic and approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent smallpox and monkeypox, is available in limited supply for those who have been exposed to the viral outbreak.
Some people who may have been recently exposed to monkeypox are recommended to receive the Jynneos vaccine, according to the health department. An interest form can be filled out at pueblohealth.org/monkeypox.
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This article originally appeared on The Pueblo Chieftain: Pueblo confirms second case of monkeypox as cases rise in Colorado