Health department reports 6 monkeypox cases in Wisconsin

The patient is isolated while health workers investigate who the person had contact with
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 7:17 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2022 at 11:12 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - UPDATE: The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) said Thursday there are six confirmed cases of monkeypox in the state, two more than we previously knew about. However, the DHS does not say where these latest cases were diagnosed.

Previously the state health department confirmed two monkeypox cases in Dane County and one each in Milwaukee and Langlade counties.

Nationwide there were 2,323 confirmed cases of monkeypox or orthopoxvirus nationwide as of Wednesday, July 20.

APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Appleton health officials are expecting test results Thursday on a suspected monkeypox case in the city.

Appleton officials tell Action 2 News a resident of the city is currently isolating while the Appleton Health Department and state health workers identify people who might have had contact with that person.

“The good news is we’ve been through the wringer and we’re prepared,” Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson said.

We’re told the person who was tested shows symptoms consistent with monkeypox.

Early symptoms include new rash or skin lesions. Recently identified cases involved skin lesions on the genitals, groin and anal regions which may be confused with sexually-transmitted diseases. Other symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, fever and chills.

Vaccinations and antiviral treatments are available. People who received the smallpox vaccine decades ago may also have some protection from the disease or decreased severity.

This is at least the fifth monkeypox case in Wisconsin. Cases were also confirmed in Dane, Milwaukee and Langlade counties. Across the country, more than 2,000 cases have been confirmed.

Nelson says in the aftermath of COVID-19, health officials are much better prepared to deal with viruses, including monkeypox.

“During COVID we had to come up with our own testing clinics, our own vaccination clinics, and so we’re going to be on the front end of this. Good thing we have good leaders with the city and the county, so I’m confident. I’m confident that we’re going to do what we can to get on top of this,” Nelson said.

The DHS advises anyone with a rash to get tested, even if you don’t think you’ve had contact with someone who has monkeypox. Also:

  • 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 areas 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.

Nationally, most patients in this outbreak have been men who had sex with other men, but health officials warn anyone is at risk if they have close contact with a person who’s infected.

For free and confidential support to find health care resources near you, dial 211 or call toll-free 1-877-947-2211. You can also text your ZIP Code to 898211.

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