In May 2022, a global outbreak of monkeypox–a rare viral disease caused by the monkeypox virus–was confirmed with a cluster of cases found in the United Kingdom. Since then, countries around the world have seen an uptick in monkeypox cases, including the United States. While monkeypox cases are increasing across the country, the general population is currently at low risk of contracting the disease, and the spread of monkeypox is different from the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • There is a vaccine for monkeypox.
  • Monkeypox can be treated with available antiviral medicines.
  • While COVID-19 passed easily from person to person, monkeypox does not spread as easily between people. Monkeypox transmission typically requires skin-to-skin contact, direct contact with body fluids, or prolonged face-to-face contact.

Monkeypox is a rash that can look like pimples or blisters on the face, the inside of the mouth, hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus. Monkeypox infections are typically not severe; symptoms are usually similar to the flu with a rash and resolve within 2-4 weeks. 

Monkeypox is Not Spread Through 

  • Casual conversations
  • Walking by someone with monkeypox, like in a grocery store 
  • Touching items like doorknobs 

Eligibility for Vaccine

Based on new CDC guidance, WDH is expanding eligibility for JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine pre-exposure prophylaxis of at-risk individuals in Wyoming. New eligibility criteria are as follows:  

  • Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, transgender or nonbinary people who in the past year have had:
    • A new diagnosis of one or more nationally reportable sexually transmitted diseases (i.e., acute HIV, chancroid, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis) OR
    • Anonymous or multiple sex partners 
  • People who have had any of the following in the past year:
    • Sex at a commercial sex venue OR
    • Sex in association with a large public event in a geographic area where monkeypox transmission is occurring
  • Sex workers (of any sex)
  • Sexual partners of people with the above risks
  • People who anticipate experiencing the above risks 

Note: People who currently have a fever, rash, or sores cannot get vaccinated. Instead, they should separate from others and contact a healthcare provider to get tested. If you do not have a healthcare provider, please call our COVID/Monkeypox Hotline at 307-732-8628.

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