Colorado deploys monkeypox dashboard amid "significant" case count
The Colorado Department of Public Health published an online dashboard Thursday to track rising monkeypox cases — and corresponding demographic data — across the state.
Why it matters: Thousands of vulnerable Coloradans are waitlisted for the vaccine, and the new tool could help local health leaders ensure the limited doses go to the people and communities that need them most.
By the numbers: Of the 168 known monkeypox cases in the state, nearly two-thirds have been in metro Denver.
- Cisgender men represent 83% of those who tested positive. People who identify as gay make up two-thirds.
- People between ages 25 and 44 account for more than three-fourths of cases.
- 53% of monkeypox patients are white men, though Black and Hispanic residents appear to be overrepresented in case counts.
- Six people have been hospitalized. No fatalities or pediatric cases have been reported in Colorado.
Of note: Demographic information has been omitted at the county level to protect people's privacy.
What they're saying: "There's reason for concern for monkeypox because we're seeing an increase in infections" amid a tight supply of vaccines, Denver Health's chief medical officer Connie Price said at a briefing Thursday.
- Yes, but: The virus is not as transmissible as COVID-19, and "it seems unlikely it would evolve to be that way," Price noted.
What's next: Colorado health officials have distributed more than 3,500 doses to local health providers, and are preparing to deploy even more in light of the Biden administration's announcement Thursday to fast-track its monkeypox vaccine distribution effort.
- State leaders are also working with community partners to put up vaccine clinics and ramp up an awareness campaign.
The big picture: Colorado is one of several places across the country, including California, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., to have recently deployed a monkeypox data dashboard.
- The moves come as case counts rise nationwide, particularly along the coasts, and frustration grows among states claiming the White House is moving too slowly.
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