Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and local public health agencies are currently monitoring cases of mpox (monkeypox) in the United States. Mpox has been identified in Colorado, including El Paso County.
Mpox is a rare disease that is endemic in central and west Africa (meaning it is consistently present in those areas without causing significant disruptions in the lives of most people). It is now spreading in parts of the United States and abroad in Europe and Australia. It spreads through person-to-person transmission or direct contact with respiratory droplets, bodily fluids, or skin lesions of those infected. Mpox can also live on other surfaces.
Mpox is rarely deadly and in most cases, mpox will resolve on its own. Symptoms of mpox often begin 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 then spreading to other parts of the body. The mpox rash can look like pimples or blisters on the face, the inside of the mouth, hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus. Most people recover within two to four weeks.
If you have had contact with someone has mpox and develop the symptoms described, please contact your health provider.
CDPHE Mpox testing sites throughout the state
NOTE: CDPHE offers mpox testing sites throughout the state.
People who have symptoms of mpox or think they have been exposed to mpox should contact a health care provider to discuss testing.
The following locations in or near El Paso County have mpox testing available. Only people who have a rash, sores, or bumps can get tested. Appointments are limited — call the phone number listed or visit the provider's website to learn more about available appointments.
At your appointment, cover your rash or lesions with long sleeves, pants, or a bandage. Wear a well-fitting mask over your nose and mouth during your entire appointment. Patients can take this document with them to their medical visit.
El Paso County Public Health
Phone: (719) 578-3199 — option 1 for Family Planning Clinic
Address: 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Road, Ste. 2044, Colorado Springs, CO 80907
EPCPH will only see patients who are at high risk for mpox based on criteria set out by the state with typical clinical presentation, including rash. Mpox testing by appointment only, limited appointments available.
UCHealth urgent care
If your primary care provider is with UCHealth, contact them first to see if you can get your sample collected with a provider you already know.
What you need to know about the Jynneos vaccine
Some people who have been recently exposed to mpox should get a vaccine called Jynneos. The FDA has fully approved this vaccine. Colorado currently has an extremely limited supply of the vaccine from the federal government.
Getting vaccinated lowers your chance of getting mpox if you may have been exposed. The sooner an exposed person gets the vaccine, the better. The vaccine can also reduce the severity of your symptoms if you do get sick later on. People who already have symptoms of mpox (fever, rash, etc.) should not get vaccinated.
Vaccine supply is currently limited.
IMPORTANT: Vaccine Eligibility Requirements
Vaccine supply is currently limited.
People, age 18-plus, of any sexual orientation or gender should get vaccinated if:
- Anyone (any sexual orientation or gender identity) who has had close physical contact with someone who has mpox in the last 14 days.
- Anyone (any sexual orientation or gender identity) who:
- 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
- Already uses or is eligible for HIV PrEP (medication to prevent HIV, e.g. Truvada or Descovy or Apretude), or
- 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.
- Anyone whose sexual partner identifies with any of the above scenarios.
Anyone who meets these criteria should talk with a health care provider to determine whether vaccination is right for them.
Mpox can spread through close physical contact like hugging, kissing, and intimate activities like sex. Anyone who believes they have been in close contact with someone who has mpox in the last 14 days can also receive the vaccine. People can self-report if they are eligible for the vaccine, and do not need permission from a doctor. If you are unsure if you should receive the Jynneos vaccine for mpox, you can find more information at the CDPHE webpage: https://cdphe.colorado.gov/diseases-a-to-z/mpox.
Vaccination is free. You don’t need health insurance or ID to get vaccinated.
You should especially consider getting vaccinated if:
- Your partner(s) are showing symptoms of mpox, such as a rash or sores that may begin on the genital area or the face, including in the mouth, and then spread to other parts of the body.
- You met a recent partner(s) through online applications or social media platforms, or at clubs, raves, sex parties, saunas, or other large gatherings.
Note: People who currently have a fever, rash, or sores that may be due to mpox cannot get vaccinated. Instead, they should separate from others and contact a health care provider to get tested. Treatment may be an option. More information about isolation can be found in the CDPHE Mpox FAQ: https://cdphe.colorado.gov/diseases-a-to-z/mpox-faq.
Register for a vaccine appointment
Feb. 16, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., Immunization Clinic 2nd floor, 1675 Garden of the Gods Rd, Suite 2044, www.comassvax.org/appointment/en/reg/6231910068