Monkeypox awareness for the SLV


SAN LUIS VALLEY- Anyone can get monkeypox if they are exposed to it. There have not yet been any cases of monkeypox identified  in the San Luis Valley. While it is good to stay alert about new outbreaks, the current risk to the general public of getting monkeypox is low.
The San Luis Valley Healthcare Coalition has formed a monkeypox task force to ensure local healthcare providers and public health are prepared for when or if this virus reaches our area.
Prior to 2022 monkeypox was rarely seen outside of Africa. Since we are seeing it in other areas it is being carefully monitored. The virus that causes monkeypox is related to the virus that causes smallpox, but it is milder, and it is rarely fatal.
Unlike COVID-19, which spreads primarily through the air, monkeypox is primarily transmitted through close, skin-to-skin contact with someone who has monkeypox. Direct contact with items like eating utensils or bedding that have been used by someone with monkeypox should be avoided.
Monkeypox can feel like the flu at first, with symptoms like fever, headache, and exhaustion. One to three days later a rash develops that can look like pimples or blisters. Some people don’t feel any symptoms before they get a rash. Monkeypox can make a person very sick, but in most cases people recover after two to four weeks. If you have symptoms, seek medical care and your healthcare provider will determine if testing for monkeypox is needed.
There is a vaccine that is effective against monkeypox, but because supplies are limited it is being prioritized for those who may have been exposed recently. Cases in the current outbreak in Colorado have been mainly in the metro area. There have been 59 cases of monkeypox in Colorado since May of this year.  
More information about monkeypox is available at www.slvphp.com/monkeypox.

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