More Monkeypox – Wyoming Department of Health Confirms 2nd Case in Teton County
Written by Andrew-Rossi on August 30, 2022
The Wyoming Department of Health identified a second case of monkeypox in another county – but while it’s worth taking seriously, most Wyomingites have little chance of contracting the virus.
The Wyoming Department of Health (W.D.H.) is announcing the state’s second monkeypox case has been identified. An adult man in Teton County tested positive for the virus that is slowly spreading throughout the United States.
Wyoming’s first case of monkeypox was identified in Laramie County man on Aug. 22.
Dr. Alexia Harrist – state health officer and state epidemiologist with W.D.H. – said follow-ups with both adult men showed no increased risk of the virus to local communities. While the virus is increasing its presence in the state, Dr. Harrist is adamant that monkeypox is worth taking seriously but isn’t another pandemic like COVID-19.
“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,” Harrist said.
Harrist said steps to help reduce monkeypox risk include:
- Talking with intimate partners about monkeypox symptoms and being aware of any new or unexplained rash or lesions. Anyone who has or recently had monkeypox symptoms or has a new or unexplained rash should not have sex and should see a healthcare provider.
- Consider limiting the number of one-time or anonymous sex partners to reduce the likelihood of exposure.
- Condoms may protect against monkeypox but may not prevent all exposures because the rash can occur in other areas of the body.
Monkeypox is characterized by a rash with other symptoms, such as fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness. The virus is rarely fatal but can cause serious illness in some people.
“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,” Harrist said.
The following people are eligible for pre-exposure vaccination if they live or work in Wyoming:
- 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 previous 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)
While the federal government provides vaccine doses through the state at no cost, a small administration fee may be charged.
Detailed facts and recommendations, including rash photos, are available online on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
More Wyoming-related information and monkeypox updates can be found on the Infectious Disease page on the Wyoming Department of Health website.