The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Denver Department of Public Health & Environment want to remind Coloradans about available mpox resources across the state, including free vaccines, testing, and treatment. Cases of mpox have decreased in Colorado since the height of the outbreak in August 2022. However, new cases and outbreaks are possible, as demonstrated by DDPHE’s confirmation of three recent cases and a cluster of cases detected in Chicago this spring. Two of the three cases in Colorado involve people fully vaccinated with two doses of Jynneos vaccine. CDPHE is working closely with DDPHE and other local public health partners across the state to monitor cases and transmission in Colorado and provide any needed support. CDPHE will resume updating mpox case counts on the mpox landing page weekly on Wednesdays but will not release any additional demographic information about individual cases at this time to protect patient privacy.
Vaccination continues to be one of the most important preventive measures against mpox. Continued vaccination among those at higher risk can help reduce the possibility of new mpox transmission or outbreaks in the future, as well as prevent severe illness and hospitalization among people who get mpox. Many options for free mpox vaccination are available in Denver and statewide.
“DDPHE remains dedicated to working closely with community partners, health care professionals, and communities to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone,” said Dr. Sterling McLaren, Denver’s chief medical officer. “We urge individuals to take the necessary precautions and share this information with family, friends, and colleagues to prevent the spread of mpox.”
“While cases remain low in Colorado and nationally compared to last year’s outbreak, now is a great time to get vaccinated if it is recommended for you,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist. “Vaccination provides the best protection against illness and hospitalizations, and we want Coloradans to know about available testing and treatment options if they get mpox.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccination with two doses of Jynneos vaccine administered 28 days (four weeks) apart for people who are at risk for mpox infection. People should get both doses of the vaccine for the best protection against mpox, even if it’s been longer than four weeks since they received their first dose. People who have already received two doses are not recommended to receive additional doses. The mpox vaccine is free. No ID, insurance, or out-of-pocket payment is needed to get vaccinated.
Studies on the effectiveness of the Jynneos vaccine suggest completing a two-dose series may be more than 85% effective at preventing infection. Data shows people may have some protection as early as two weeks after their first vaccine dose, but protection is even stronger after completion of the two-dose Jynneos vaccine series. People who are vaccinated should continue to avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with someone who has mpox — no vaccine provides 100 percent protection against infection, so breakthrough cases can occur.
Public health officials recommend Jynneos vaccination for:
-Anyone who has had close physical contact with someone who has mpox in the last 14 days.
-Has multiple or anonymous sexual partners, or
-Has close physical contact with other people in a venue where anonymous or group sex may occur, or
-Was diagnosed with gonorrhea or syphilis in the past six months, or
-Is living with HIV, or
-Is immunocompromised and anticipates potential mpox exposure, or
-Uses or is eligible for HIV PrEP (medication to prevent HIV, e.g. Truvada, Descovy, or Apretude), or
-Has sex in exchange for money, shelter, food, and other goods or needs.
-Anyone identified by public health as a known high-risk contact of someone who has mpox.
-Anyone whose sexual partner identifies with any of the above scenarios.
-Anyone who anticipates experiencing any of the above scenarios.
People should talk with their partner(s) about any mpox symptoms and be aware of any new or unexplained rash or lesion on either of their bodies. Meeting with partners you already know can help reduce your risk, and having fewer sexual partners can reduce your likelihood of exposure.
Mpox testing locations are available across the state. We encourage Coloradans to know what symptoms to look for: people with mpox often get a rash or bumps that may be located on the hands, feet, chest, face, mouth, or near the genitals. People with a new rash or bumps who think they may have been exposed to mpox should get tested, even if they have been vaccinated against mpox. Some people who get mpox may be able to get a free treatment called TPOXX or Tecovirimat. Contact a health care provider to discuss mpox testing and treatment.
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