Campbell County reports first case of monkeypox

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by a virus. (Shutterstock)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — The Wyoming Department of Health reported today the first case of monkeypox virus infection in Campbell County.

The department has confirmed a case in a Campbell County adult man and a Natrona County adult man. The cases are not connected and additional risk to local communities is not considered to be significantly increased at this time, the department said.

Wyoming has four monkeypox/orthopoxvirus cases as of noon today, the CDC said. The U.S. currently has 25,341 confirmed cases.

Monkeypox involves a rash and other symptoms, such as fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and tiredness. It’s rarely fatal, but it can cause serious illness in some people.

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To reduce risk of exposure to the illness, which spreads through close, intimate contact, residents can take the following steps:

  • Talk with intimate partners about monkeypox symptoms
  • Be 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 one-time or anonymous sex partners
  • Condoms may provide some protection against monkeypox, but may not prevent all exposures. The rash can occur in other areas of the body.
  • Get the vaccine if you have been exposed or are at higher risk of exposure

The department said people 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

Eligible individuals who want to get the vaccine should contact Campbell County Health Department, which is at 2301 S. 4-J Road in Gillette. Campbell County Health Department‘s phone number is 307-682-7275. The fax number is 307-682-0374. The email address is phngillette@wyo.gov.

To learn more about monkeypox and see photos that will help you identify the rash, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. The Wyoming Department of Health has Wyoming-specific information here.

Mary Stroka is the Community Reporter for County 17. She's new to Wyoming and has loved getting to know the area. She covers crime, education, faith, government, and policy for County 17. Feel free to contact her at mary@county17.com with your news tips and ideas.