Monkeypox Public Health Advisory
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MPox (Monkeypox) Public Health Advisory
In December, 15 new cases of MPox were reported across Colorado, bringing the state’s current total to 404 confirmed cases.
While no cases have been reported on campus, the Health Center at Auraria encourages all members of the campus community to be aware of the following helpful safety and awareness information.
The Health Center at Auraria is now offering the JYNNEOS MPox vaccine to eligible students, faculty and staff on the Auraria Campus at no cost.
Those eligible for immunization include:
- Anyone who has had close physical contact with someone who been diagnosed with MPox in the last 14 days.
- Anyone (any sexual orientation or gender identity) who:
- Has multiple anonymous sex partners
- Attends venues where they have close physical contact with other people/where anonymous or group sex may occur (i.e. raves, clubs, parties, bars and other crowded places)
- Has been diagnosed with gonorrhea or syphilis in the past six months
- Is living with HIV or
- Already uses or is eligible for HIV PrEp (pre-exposure prophylaxis), medication to prevent HIV infection (e.g., Truvada, Descovy, or Apretude)
- Engages in commercial and/or transactional sex (e.g., sex in exchange for money, shelter, food and other goods or needs)
- Anyone (any sexual orientation or gender identity) identified by public health as a known high-risk contact of someone who has MPox
CDPHE (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment) will continue to revisit criteria for MPox vaccination; eligibility may continue to change as supply from the federal government increases.
Individuals who are interested in being vaccinated against MPox and fall into one of the above categories may complete the MPox (Monkeypox) Eligibility Questionnaire.
Once your eligibility questionnaire is complete, a member of the immunization team at The Health Center at Auraria will reach out to you to schedule an appointment. Please allow 24 business hours to receive this call.
What is MPox (monkeypox)?
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, MPox is a virus in the orthopox family of viruses. MPox is rare, but it can be serious for people who get sick.
Early symptoms can include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes and exhaustion. Most people get a rash or skin bumps one to three days after they first start feeling sick. This rash usually starts on the face and then spreads to the arms and legs. Sometimes, the rash may start in the genital area. Some people don’t feel any symptoms before they get a rash. Monkeypox can look like syphilis, herpes, blisters or even acne.
How does MPox spread?
Per the CDPHE, MPox can spread to anyone, through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact.” Close contact can mean physical contact with a sick person’s sores, bumps or lesions, including, but not limited to sexual contact. MPox can also spread through touching the bed linens or clothing of someone who is sick. MPox can also live on other surfaces for some time.
Who should get tested for MPox?
The CDPHE recommends MPox testing for people who have a new rash, lesions, or sores with pus and could have had close contact with someone who was infected.
If there is a potential MPox case on campus, what is the procedure in terms of testing and notification?
The Health Center at Auraria uses Quest Diagnostics for laboratory services. HCA will take samples of 1-2 lesions of suspected MPox and send these samples to Quest. The patient is then advised to isolate from others (avoid skin-to-skin contact); not share any linens, clothes or towels; and wash their hands frequently to reduce the chance of spreading it to others.
If the lesion(s) are positive for MPox, then the state epidemiologists will take over. There can be treatment, but it is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting 2-4 weeks.
Members of the campus community who have specific questions or concerns can seek information and equitable, inclusive health services through the Health Center at Auraria. Anyone who is experiencing fear, anxiety and stigma related to the monkeypox virus can contact their respective institution’s Counseling Center or the LGBTQ Student Resource Center.
To learn more about MPox please visit the CDPHE website and their sub-pages that provide information on Frequently Asked Questions, Signs and Symptoms , Vaccines and an up-to-date List of Testing Sites.