RACINE, Wis. — The City of Racine confirmed its first case of monkeypox, Health Officer Dottie-Kay Bowersox announced Monday.
Bowersox said the risk to the general public is low.
“We are taking monkeypox very seriously and the City of Racine Public Health Department is working proactively to protect the public and prevent further spread of the disease.” Bowersox said in a news release Monday. “Public health is well positioned to meet the evolving health needs of our community through disease investigation strategies.”
There have been 18 cases confirmed in Wisconsin as of July 28, health officials say. There are 5,189 cases confirmed nationally as of Saturday.
Individuals should be aware of monkeypox symptoms and should seek medical attention if they experience any. This includes new, unexplained rashes and skin lesions, fever, chills, and swollen lymph nodes.
According to health officials, people become infected with monkeypox by having direct contact with:
- With skin lesions, scabs, or body fluids of an infected person
- Through prolonged face-to-face exposure to respiratory secretions or during intimate physical contact
- Through touching items such as clothing that previously touched the infectious rash.
Health officials also say, "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."
Below are recommendations to prevent the spread of monkeypox, according to the Milwaukee Health Department:
- 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.
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