Social distancing is so last year. A second case of monkeypox — a disease that generally requires intimate contact — has been identified in Alaska. The first was announced last week in an Anchorage man.
Monkeypox, at this point, is being passed along in the community of men having intimate relations with various male sex partners. The most recent cases is in a man who started experiencing symptoms in the past week. Alaska Section of Epidemiology has not identified an epidemiological link between the two cases, according to the State of Alaska.
The federal government on Thursday declared monkeypox a public health emergency. Aside from the two cases in Anchorage men, no other Alaska cases are known at this time, according to the Alaska Department of Health. Neither of the men required hospitalization.
The State of Alaska has vaccines for people who have had known exposure to someone who tests positive for monkeypox. Some who are high risk of exposure — those who have multiple sexual encounters with men who have sex with men — may also be prioritized for the vaccine. There are only about 330 doses of the vaccine in the state.
Anchorage residents who fit in one of these categories can contact the Anchorage Health Department to request vaccination. In other communities, people can check with their local public health clinics or departments.
On May 18, when the outbreak had its first known case in the United States, there were only a handful of cases in the country, but as of Thursday, the number has reached over 7,500, although many of those cases have resolved by now.