DENVER (KDVR) — FOX31 investigators are getting new details about one of two Colorado monkeypox cases.
The latest case involved a man who health officials said had checked into the hospital just days before his positive diagnosis.
We’re asking health officials about it because we hear from an unnamed health care worker worrying that hospitals aren’t doing enough to screen patients before they see their doctor.
FOX31’s Joshua Short is on top with what state officials are saying about these new developments.
Although the CDC and state health officials have said the risk of contracting monkeypox and it becoming a life-threatening situation, is low. One healthcare worker we spoke to said she wants hospitals to do more to reduce the risk of possible exposure to healthcare workers, who are already exhausted as a result of the pandemic.
Officials with Centura Health told FOX31 that the male patient, who became the second presumptive positive case of monkeypox in Colorado, checked himself into St. Anthony’s Hospital. However, it is unclear if it was related to the monkeypox treatment. But shortly after that visit, he tested positive.
An anonymous healthcare worker with knowledge of this specific case told Problem Solvers that many hospital workers may have been exposed to this patient.
Now the tipster is upset, saying if more had been done to screen incoming patients before their appointments, this exposure might not have happened.
To put this into context, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and even throughout the Ebola outbreak, some hospitals have asked patients to fill out forms to screen for symptoms.
On Monday, the state health department told Problem Solvers that they don’t require patients to fill out certain forms before being seen by a doctor. However, individual providers, medical clinics, and hospitals may have forms they can ask patients to complete.
Below are statements from the state health department and Centura Health.
On Friday, May 27, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) notified St. Anthony’s Hospital that we had provided care to a patient presumed positive for Monkeypox.
Building on our commitment to Safety First, People Always, we responded quickly and partnered with CDPHE to conduct contact tracing, review and assess the possible risk to our associates and vendors.
At this time, all potentially exposed caregivers and service providers have been contacted, made aware of the symptoms to watch for and offered the vaccine, which is only available through the State.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment sent a communication to health care providers across the state informing them of the monkeypox situation. Healthcare providers who see patients with a rash that may be compatible with monkeypox, especially those with recent travel to an area where monkeypox has been reported, should contact the CDPHE.
The CDPHE will issue updates to healthcare providers as needed. The CDPHE does not require patients to complete certain forms before being seen by a health care provider. However, individual providers, medical clinics, and hospitals may have forms they ask patients to complete. If a person is identified as being exposed to monkeypox, they are contacted by the health department to determine their level of exposure and possible risk of contracting monkeypox.
Depending on their level of exposure, they may be offered a vaccine that can prevent them from getting sick or instructed to self-monitor for symptoms and check in with public health regularly. The CDC recommends that the vaccine be given within four days of the date of exposure to prevent the onset of illness. If given between four and 14 days after the date of exposure, the vaccination can reduce the symptoms of the disease, but cannot prevent the disease.
Currently, Colorado uses the federally provided two-dose Jynneos vaccine for people considered at risk. An example of a high-risk exposure would be unprotected contact between a person’s skin or mucous membranes and the skin, lesions, or bodily fluids of a person known to have active monkeypox virus in their body. Determination of risk and need for vaccination following exposure is made by a medical professional after consultation with state public health. People who receive the Jynneos vaccine are considered fully immunized after receiving both doses of the vaccine.
No vaccine is 100% effective in preventing infection. It is still possible to develop monkeypox after being vaccinated. The timing of vaccination after a high-risk exposure is critical to the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing monkeypox infection. Monkeypox is rarely fatal. The version of monkeypox currently spreading in non-endemic countries has a mortality rate of less than 1%. Monkeypox is spread mainly through close contact with someone who has contracted monkeypox. Close contact with respiratory droplets, body fluids, or broken skin can lead to infection.
Close contacts can include family members, people caring for sick patients, anyone who has shared bed linens with someone who is sick, or anyone who has had prolonged exposure to someone with monkeypox. Epidemiological data on recent cases suggest that there may be an increased risk for people who have recently traveled to a country where monkeypox has been reported or for men who have sex with men. State epidemiologists are coordinating across the state and with the CDC to monitor the progress of the virus and learn more about transmission.
Coloradans should be aware of monkeypox symptoms and prevention. Monkeypox often begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion. Typically, a rash develops one to three days after the fever starts, often starting on the face and spreading to other parts of the body. In recent cases, the rash often begins in the genital or perianal area. The rash associated with monkeypox can look like 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 in two to four weeks. Coloradans can help prevent the spread of monkeypox by avoiding close physical contact with people who have contracted monkeypox, wearing a high-quality mask if they must spend time in close contact with someone with symptoms of monkeypox, and by contacting a health care provider as soon as possible. as possible if they have symptoms.
-Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
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