CASPER, WYOMING (August 12, 2022) – The Casper-Natrona County Health Department (CNCHD) in coordination with the Wyoming Department of Health is closely monitoring the evolving cases of Monkeypox within the United States. Currently there have not been any confirmed cases of Monkeypox within the state of Wyoming. Monkeypox is still a rare disease caused by viral infection and is spread through close, personal contact. The risk of transmission of Monkeypox in the general public remains very low. However, some groups of individuals may be at a higher risk. This includes men who have sex with men who have had multiple or anonymous partners within the last year, sex workers, and individuals who engage in anonymous sex at large social events.
Testing for Mokeypox is available at the Casper-Natrona County Health Department for individuals meeting very specific criteria for testing. Risk criteria include:
• New rash that is characteristic of Monkeypox which may have been previously accompanied by fever, fatigue and muscle aches
• Reports having contact with a person or persons with a similar appearing rash or with a person who has received a diagnosis of confirmed or probable monkeypox OR • Had close or intimate in-person contact with persons in a social network experiencing monkeypox infections. This includes MSM who meet partners through an online website, digital application (“app”), or social event (e.g., bar or party) OR
• Traveled, within 21 days of illness onset outside the United States to a country with confirmed cases of monkeypox
(https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/response/2022/world-map.html) or where Monkeypox Virus is endemic (https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/about.html) OR • Had contact with a dead or live wild animal or exotic pet that is an African endemic species, or used a product derived from such animals (e.g., game meat, creams, lotions, powders, etc…)
Individuals or medical providers who believe a patient meets this criteria should call the Casper Natrona County Health Department at 235-9340 for assessment. Providers calling on the behalf of patients or patients who believe they need testing will be screened and assessed prior to any testing. Testing is not available on a walk in basis or without calling in advance.
Vaccinations are available for both post-exposure prophylaxis and pre-exposure prophylaxis. Monkeypox post-exposure vaccination is reserved for anyone meeting criteria of a confirmed case or exposure to a confirmed case of Monkeypox. Any medical provider believing a patient meets criteria for post-exposure vaccination should call the Casper-Natrona County Health Department at 235-9340 for assessment.
Pre-exposure vaccination is available in Natrona County for individuals who meet vaccination criteria and are interested in being vaccinated. The criteria for pre-exposure vaccination 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)
Additionally, they must live or work in Wyoming. Interested and qualified individuals may access the Monkeypox vaccine by calling the Casper-Natrona County Health Department at 235-9340 and indicating their interest. All pre-exposure vaccinations will be on a first come, first served basis for qualified individuals and will be available by appointment only.
Pre-exposure vaccination is a two dose series completed 28 days apart. The vaccine is a live vaccine but it is non-replicating and therefore will not cause contagiousness. All individuals wishing to receive pre-exposure vaccination must be 18 years or older. Anyone seeking pre-exposure vaccination must be at least 4 weeks from their most recent COVID-19 vaccination. Both pre and post exposure vaccinations are free, however there is a small administration charge of $20. If this cost is a barrier, the CNCHD will work with eligible individuals to ensure they still have access to vaccines.
Monkeypox remains a low risk to the public and the Casper-Natrona County Health Department will continue to monitor the situation. Any local Monkeypox updates will be provided to the public via public information releases, CNCHD’s social media accounts and their website as soon as they are available. Medical providers seeking more information on Monkeypox identification, testing or vaccination should contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department. More information on Monkeypox including risk, ways to protect yourself and vaccination information is available on the CNCHD website at casperpublichealth.org/monkeypox.