Moorcroft Leader - The Voice of the Community Since 1909, Serving Moorcroft and Pine Haven, Wyoming

Monkeypox arrives in Wyoming


August 25, 2022

Monkeypox has officially arrived in Wyoming, according to the Wyoming Department of Health. However, the virus is not considered to be a high risk for most people.

“Because monkeypox spreads through close, intimate contact we do not believe the risk for the virus is now a higher concern for the local community or for most people in Wyoming,” said Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer.

“Monkeypox does not spread easily like familiar viruses such as influenza or COVID-19.”

The case was identified in an adult man who resides in Laramie County. Public health representatives are now following up with the individual to determine whether any additional Wyoming residents are at risk of contracting monkeypox due to contact with the patient.

Until last week, Wyoming was the only state in the nation to be monkeypox-free, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). There have now been over 14,000 confirmed cases across the United States.

Vaccines are being made available in Wyoming on a limited, targeted basis.

“We do want to prevent further spread within our state as much as possible. That’s why we will recommend vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and also for people who may be more likely to get monkeypox based on the current outbreak and how it has been spreading,” Harrist said.

Those who are eligible include men who have sex with men and who have had multiple or anonymous partners in the last year, as well as their partners; transgender and nonbinary persons assigned male at birth who have had sex with multiple or anonymous partners who are male or male-assigned at birth within the past year; and sex workers.

According to the CDC, monkeypox infection causes a rash that may be located near the genitals and also on other parts of the body. It initially looks like pimples or blisters and will go through several stages.

Additional symptoms can include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, aches, headache and respiratory symptoms.

Symptoms begin within three weeks of exposure and monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms appear until the rash has healed and all scabs have fallen off, which is a period estimated between two and four weeks.


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