West Allis identifies 1st monkeypox case in resident

'Monkeypox' sign and monkeypox illustrative models displayed on a screen are seen in this multiple exposure illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on May 26, 2022. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The West Allis Health Department identified on Friday, July 29 the city's first case of monkeypox in a resident. Officials are in contact with the individual, who is currently isolating, and has notified close contacts.

A news release says this is the 14th case of monkeypox confirmed in a Wisconsin resident, as identified by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS).

Typically, people become infected with monkeypox by having direct contact:

  • 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, or
  • through touching items such as clothing that previously touched the infectious rash.

While risk to the public remains low at this time, individuals should be aware of the symptoms of monkeypox and seek medical attention if they experience symptoms such as:

  • New, unexplained rashes and skin lesions
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes

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To prevent the spread of monkeypox, individuals should follow these 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 about the virus and how to limit infection risk can be found on the West Allis Health Department website, Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WI DHS) website, and CDC Monkeypox website.