DHS identifies first case of monkeypox in Wisconsin
Risk to the general public remains low
DANE COUNTY, Wis. (WSAW) - The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has identified the first confirmed case of orthopoxvirus, presumed to be monkeypox, in a resident of Dane County.
According to a press release, the patient is currently isolating and the risk to the general public remains low.
“The number of monkeypox cases continues to rise in the U.S., so it is not a surprise that monkeypox has now been detected in Wisconsin,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ryan Westergaard. “While it’s likely that additional cases will be found among Wisconsinites, we are relieved that this disease does not spread easily from person to person. We’d like for all clinicians to remain alert to patients with compatible rashes and encourage them to test for monkeypox. We want the public to know that the risk of widespread transmission remains low.”
Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It is typically characterized by a new, unexplained rash and skin lesions. Other early symptoms of monkeypox include fever, chills, and swollen lymph nodes. Recently identified cases have developed skin lesions in the genital, groin, and anal regions that might be confused with rashes caused by common diseases such as herpes and syphilis.
As of June 30, there have been 396 confirmed monkeypox and orthopoxvirus cases in the United States.
To prevent the spread of monkeypox, DHS encourages all Wisconsinites to be aware of the following:
- Know the symptoms and risk factors of monkeypox.
- Avoid skin-to-skin contact with people who are showing a rash or skin sores. Don’t touch the rash or scabs, and don’t kiss, hug, cuddle, have sex, or share items such as eating utensils or bedding with someone with monkeypox.
- In jurisdictions with known monkeypox spread, participating in activities with close, personal, skin-to-skin contact may pose a higher risk of exposure.
- If you were recently exposed to the virus, contact a doctor or nurse to talk about whether you need a vaccine to prevent disease. Monitor your health for fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes and a new, unexplained rash, and contact a health care provider if any of those occur. If you become ill, avoid contact with others until you receive health care.
The DHS Outbreaks in Wisconsin webpage will be updated with the latest case counts of monkeypox.
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