Colorado health officials have reported two presumptive monkeypox cases in consecutive days this week.
The first case who acquired the virus recently traveled to Canada where an outbreak of monkeypox is occurring.
The second case was a close contact of a person known to public health as a presumptive case of monkeypox and is cooperating with state and local public health epidemiologists who are investigating and notifying people who may have been exposed.
Both cases sought care in the Denver area. The first case is noted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as a man who has sex with men.
Monkeypox is primarily spread through close contact with a person who has acquired monkeypox. Close contact with respiratory droplets, bodily fluids, or skin lesions can lead to infection. Close contacts may include family members, people taking care of ill patients, anyone who has shared bed linens with someone who is sick, or anyone who has had prolonged exposure to a person with monkeypox. Epidemiological data on recent cases suggest there may be a heightened risk for people who have recently traveled to a country where monkeypox has been reported or men who have sex with other men.
Monkeypox often begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion. Typically, a rash develops within one to three days after the onset of fever, often beginning on the face and spreading to other parts of the body. In recent cases, the rash often starts in the genital or perianal area. The associated monkeypox rash can look similar to other infections like syphilis or herpes. The incubation period for monkeypox is usually seven to 14 days but can range from less than five to 21 days. Most people recover within two to four weeks.
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