Langlade County Health Department investigating monkeypox case

Health department identified first case in northcentral Wisconsin area
Health officials say the risk of contracting monkeypox is low, and you have to have close contact with an infected person
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 10:40 PM CDT
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ANTIGO, Wis. (WSAW) - The Langlade County Health Department is investigating how the person there got monkeypox. The health department recently identified the disease in the area on Wednesday.

The Langlade County Health Department said the person confirmed to have monkeypox is isolating.

“July 13th we were notified of the first orthopoxvirus, which is presumed to be monkeypox,” said Meghan Williams, the health officer for the Langlade County Health Department.

Since the confirmed case of monkeypox in northcentral Wisconsin, the Langlade County Health Department said they’ve been working with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to investigate where it came from.

“We just make sure that anybody that could have been identified as a close contact would be contacted and made aware of any potential exposure,” said Williams.

Doctor Eric Stratman is the chairman of the Department of Dermatology at the Marshfield Clinic Health System.

“Monkeypox is a disease that spreads from usually close, skin-on-skin contact sometimes intimate, sometimes just close contact,” said Stratman.

Stratman was part of the discovery team that brought awareness to monkeypox in 2003.

“A systemic disease that originated in the rodent population in Africa,” said Stratman.

But Dr. Stratman said this outbreak is different.

“The difference in the current outbreak is it’s a little bit more likely to be sexually transmitted through intercourse,” said Stratman.

Monkeypox symptoms can include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and other flu-like symptoms. But the most noticeable symptoms are rashes.

“It’s usually little pimples or blister-like lesions that aren’t terribly symptomatic. They go through some stages with scabbing and can even have some scarring,” said Stratman.

Dr. Stratman said the risk of getting monkeypox is low unless you come in contact with someone who has the disease.

“It’s not like just walking down the street and I’m going to catch monkeypox. That’s not the sort of thing that we want to public to be worrying about,” said Stratman.

Although health officials say there is a low risk of contracting monkeypox, they still urge people to visit their healthcare provider if they’re feeling any symptoms.

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