What is Monkeypox (MPX)?
MPX is a variola virus, which is the same family of viruses that contains smallpox. The virus causes mild cold or flu-like symptoms and a skin rash. While MPX has not caused any deaths in Colorado to-date, there is increased risk for individuals with immunocompromising conditions. For further information, visit the CDC website or the CDPHE website.
How does MPX spread?:
- Skin to skin contact with infectious lesions - Through sharing bodily fluids such as saliva or semen
- Touching clothing or bedding that has been contact with infectious lesions
- Sharing a closed space with an infectious individual for an extended period of time
Who is at Risk?
Current data has indicated that the MPX virus is most rapidly spreading among men who have sex with men however anyone may contract and spread the virus. Anyone who has multiple anonymous sexual partners, and anyone who shares clothing with or handles soiled clothing or linens used by infectious persons may be at-risk, as well as anyone who shares enclosed spaces (ex: home or hotel room) with an infectious individual.
While vaccination with an approved vaccine can provide high levels of protection against contracting MPX, the best way to prevent the spread of MPX is to eliminate contact with infectious lesions. Because lesions can be present anywhere on the body condoms are not effective at preventing the spread of MPX.
Testing in Pitkin County
If you believe you have been exposed through extended contact with a confirmed positive case AND have developed an unexplained rash you can seek testing at your local primary care physician.
- IF you do not have a primary care physician within Pitkin County you may schedule an evaluation with Aspen Valley Primary Care
- IF you do not have insurance you can schedule an evaluation with Community Health Services
* Testing is NOT free, there will be a cost associated with your appointment
Vaccination with the Jynneos vaccine is currently available in Pitkin County only for those who qualify for PEP vaccination and have been identified by CDPHE as a high risk contact of a confirmed case. At this time Pitkin County does not have any vaccine available for individuals eligible for the PEP ++ (self attestation of exposure). Appointments for these programs are available only in Denver at this time using this form as vaccine availability allows.
Treatment with the antiviral TPOXX is available for individuals who are at higher risk of suffering severe infection or other complications. Speak to your care team about this option.