Monkeypox: 1st case in Kenosha County

Kenosha County has identified its first confirmed case of orthopoxvirus (monkeypox), Health Officer Jen Freiheit announced.

Contract tracing is underway, and the risk to the general public is low, Freiheit said.

"While monkeypox is certainly contagious, it does not spread easily from person to person," Freiheit said. "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."

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. People with monkeypox generally develop a characteristic skin rash or lesions. Additional symptoms including fever, chills and swollen lymph nodes may also occur.

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.

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More information from the state Health Department is available at