Second Monkeypox Case Reported in Wyoming
The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) announced in a press release on Monday that the state’s second monkeypox case has been identified in a Teton County resident.
Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer, and state epidemiologist with the WDH, said a follow-up with the adult man who tested positive showed no increased risk of the virus to the local community.
Monkeypox's symptoms include a rash along with fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness, and is unpleasant, painful, and can cause serious illness in some people.
So far there have been nine fatalities due to monkeypox worldwide, though none have so far occurred in the U.S.
The WDH offers several tips to help reduce monkeypox risk including:
- Talking with intimate partners about monkeypox symptoms and being aware of any new or unexplained rash or lesions and those who do should see a healthcare provider.
- Limit the number of one-time or anonymous sex partners
- While condoms may provide some protection against monkeypox, they may not prevent all exposures as the rash can occur in other areas of the body.
Harrist said in the release:
"We want people to realize monkeypox spreads through close, intimate contact and does not spread easily like familiar viruses such as influenza or COVID-19...While anyone can become ill with monkeypox, we specifically recommend vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and for people who may be more likely to get monkeypox based on how the current outbreak has been spreading."
People who are eligible for pre-exposure vaccination if they live or work in Wyoming include:
- Men who have sex with men and who have had multiple or anonymous sexual partners in the last year.
- Partners of men who have sex with men who have had multiple or anonymous sexual partners in the last year.
- Transgender and nonbinary persons assigned male at birth who have sex with multiple or anonymous sexual partners who are male or male assigned at birth within the past year.
- Sex workers of any sex.
Eligible individuals interested in vaccination appointments should contact their public health office or call 307-777-6004 for help finding the closest public health office.
While vaccine doses are being provided by the federal government through the state at no cost, Hailey Bloom, Public Information Officer with the Casper-Natrona County Health Department said they will charge a $20 administrative fee.
Bloom said that each county receives a number of vaccines based on the interest of those who are eligible for the shot due to the limited supply.
The U.S. has so far shipped over 700,000 vials of the monkeypox vaccine across the country while the CDC currently reports that there are 17,432 total confirmed cases, the most of any country, with California experiencing the most cases at 3,291.