(The Hill) — The monkeypox virus has reached all 50 states. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, Wyoming reported a single case of the virus on Monday, becoming the final state in the country to do so.
In a news release, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) said the lone virus case is from a male resident in Laramie County, adding that state public health representatives have followed up with the infected individual to see if other residents had direct contact with him.
“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,” WDH state health officer and state epidemiologist Alexia Harrist. “Monkeypox does not spread easily like familiar viruses such as influenza or COVID-19.”
Harrist also recommended that getting vaccinated is the best possible way to “prevent further spread” of the virus. “While anyone can become ill with monkeypox, vaccine eligibility is currently limited to people who are at highest risk in connection with this outbreak and how its spreading,” she said. “The goal is to put available vaccine supplies to the best possible use.”
As of Monday, there are 15,433 reported cases of monkeypox in the U.S with New York leading the way with nearly 3,000 reported cases, followed by California, Florida, Texas and Georgia, CDC data showed.
Recently, the Department of Human and Health Services officially declared monkeypox a public health emergency in the U.S. The Biden administration, which has faced criticism for its slow initial response to the outbreak, plans to accelerate the production of the monkeypox vaccine by making an additional 1.8 million doses available starting this week.