KENOSHA COUNTY – Kenosha County’s first confirmed case of monkeypox (orthopoxvirus) has been identified, Kenosha County Health Officer Jen Freiheit announced Monday. Contact tracing is underway, and the risk to the general public is low, she added.
“While monkeypox is certainly contagious, it does not spread easily from person to person,” Freiheit said in a news release. “The guidance we’re receiving is telling us that an individual must have close, sustained contact with an infected person in order to contract the virus.”
The Kenosha case is one of eight confirmed cases of monkeypox in Wisconsin as of Friday, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). There were 2,593 cases confirmed nationally as of last Thursday.
Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. People with this disease generally develop a characteristic skin rash or lesions. Additional symptoms including fever, chills and swollen lymph nodes may also occur. Typically, people become infected by having direct contact with the skin lesions, scabs, or body fluids of an infected person, through prolonged face-to-face exposure to respiratory secretions or during intimate physical contact, or through touching items such as clothing that previously touched the infectious rash. Most people recover in two to four weeks without need for treatment, although vaccinations and antiviral medications can be used to prevent and treat monkeypox.
There is currently a limited supply of the vaccine in the United States, although more is expected to become available in the coming weeks and months. Isolation and contact tracing are key strategies to limit transmission.
For more information, please visit the DHS website.