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First confirmed case of monkeypox identified in Milwaukee

Africa Monkeypox
Posted at 4:31 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-11 23:15:20-04

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Health Department announced Monday that a case of monkeypox was identified in a Milwaukee resident on Saturday, July 9.

This is the first case in the City of Milwaukee and the second case of monkeypox confirmed in Wisconsin.

Health officials say the risk to the public remains low at this time. However, individuals should be aware of monkeypox symptoms and should seek medical attention if they experience any.

According to the Milwaukee Health Department, "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."

RELATED COVERAGE: Monkeypox virus: What to know, what to do

Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, and often skin-to-skin contact. It is primarily spread through direct contact with monkeypox rashes, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox.

Health officials 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."

Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said with the increasing number of cases nationwide, she is not surprised it has been identified in Milwaukee.

“While the disease is not easily spread from person to person without direct contact, we anticipate more cases will emerge in the coming weeks," Johnson said. "To control the spread, we encourage residents to be aware of the symptoms, follow prevention recommendations, and seek medical attention when needed.”

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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