By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Three states have now declared a public health emergency due to an outbreak of monkeypox, but Wyoming has no plans to do the same.
California, Illinois and New York have all declared states of emergency due to the outbreak of monkeypox within their respective states.
Since the disease started popping up in the United States at the beginning of the summer, Wyoming has had no confirmed cases of monkeypox, Wyoming Department of Health spokeswoman Kim Deti told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday.
“There are no plans to pursue a public health emergency declaration in Wyoming, but that does not mean our department has no concerns about this outbreak,” Deti said. “Those declarations in our state are very specific and not applicable to the current or expected situation.”
According to National Public Radio, declaring a state of emergency often helps with the logistics and coordination between departments working to respond to the emergency.
For monkeypox, these declarations will mean devoting more resources to testing opportunities and vaccinations, including who can administer them, and accessing funds designated for emergencies.
A total of 5,811 cases of monkeypox have been recorded nationwide, with 1,390 of those cases in New York, another 827 in California and 520 in Illinois.
Deti said health department officials have communicated with health care providers across Wyoming about what symptoms to look for when it comes to monkeypox and testing recommendations.
“We are also considering plans to make the best use of vaccines available to the state,” she said.
Vaccination for monkeypox is available, albeit on a limited eligibility basis, according to The Hill.
The news outlet reported people who meet the requirements include those have been in close contact with confirmed infected persons and people who have had multiple sexual partners in the last two weeks in an area reporting confirmed monkeypox cases.
Monkeypox is a disease caused by the monkeypox virus, which comes from the same virus family that causes smallpox, according to the CDC. The current outbreak is of the West African monkeypox type, a serious but rarely fatal disease, The Hill reported.
The disease causes fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph nodes and respiratory issues, as well as a blister-like rash. Symptoms usually appear within three weeks of exposure, and the illness itself lasts two to four weeks.
The virus can spread through “respiratory secretions,” which can be exchanged through close contact, kissing, hugging and other intimate actions.