First Case of Monkeypox Identified in City of Milwaukee Resident

MILWAUKEE – On Saturday, July 9, 2022, a case of monkeypox was identified in a Milwaukee resident. The Milwaukee Health Department is in contact with the individual, who is currently isolating and following all recommended guidance, and notified all close contacts. This is the second case of monkeypox confirmed in a Wisconsin resident, as identified by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS).

While risk to the public remains low at this time, individuals should be aware of the symptoms of monkeypox and seek medical attention if they experience symptoms. In cases identified within this current outbreak in the U.S., monkeypox is characterized by new, unexplained rashes and skin lesions. 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. Other early symptoms of monkeypox include fever, chills, and swollen lymph nodes.

“With the increasing number of cases nationwide, we are not surprised monkeypox has been identified in our city,” said Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson. “While the disease is not easily spread from person to person without direct contact, we anticipate more cases will emerge in the coming weeks. To control the spread, we encourage residents to be aware of the symptoms, follow prevention recommendations, and seek medical attention when needed.”

Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact. Currently, the disease is primarily spread through direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox. Additionally, touching objects, fabrics, and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox or close contact with respiratory secretions can transmit the disease. This contact can happen during intimate contact including oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals or anus of a person with monkeypox.

To prevent the spread of monkeypox, individuals should follow the following recommendations:

• Avoid close, skin to skin contact with the monkeypox rash, including refraining from touching the rash or scabs of person with monkeypox and avoiding kissing, hugging, cuddling or having sex with someone with monkeypox.

• If exposed to monkeypox, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible and let them know you have symptoms or have been exposed to monkeypox. Healthcare providers can provide testing and care for people who are diagnosed with monkeypox. Monitor for fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes and a new, unexplained rash, and contact a health care provider if any of those occur. If you do not have a healthcare provider, contact your local health department for guidance.

• If sick with monkeypox, isolate at home until rash has fully resolved, the scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of intact skin has formed.

More information about the virus and how to limit infection risk can be found on the MHD Monkeypox website and CDC Monkeypox website.

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