On August 31, 2022, a St. Croix County resident tested positive for an orthopoxvirus known as monkeypox. This individual is currently isolating. St. Croix County Public Health is working with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) to notify any close contacts. As of August 31, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded 56 cases of monkeypox in Wisconsin. While the number of monkeypox cases are increasing nationwide, the current risk of getting monkeypox remains very low for the general public.
“With cases increasing throughout the country and in Wisconsin, we are not surprised a case of monkeypox was identified in St. Croix County. Information about preventing monkeypox and treatments will be offered to all identified close contacts to help limit the spread of monkeypox. We want residents of St. Croix County to know that the risk of monkeypox spreading widely throughout the community is very low. This disease does not spread easily from person to person. However, because anyone can get and spread monkeypox, all residents should be aware of the symptoms. Anyone who develops a new or unexplained rash should contact a healthcare professional or their local Public Health Department as soon as possible.”
- Kelli Engen, Public Health Administrator
Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness typically characterized by a new, unexplained rash and skin lesions. Recent cases have developed skin lesions in the genital and groin regions that may be confused with other rashes caused by common diseases such as herpes and syphilis. Someone with monkeypox may experience fever, chills, and swollen lymph nodes before developing a rash or sore. Monkeypox primarily spreads through skin-to-skin contact. Anyone who has close, personal, and sustained contact with a person who has monkeypox is more likely to get sick. Anyone who has direct contact with the sores, scabs, or body fluids of someone with monkeypox is at increased risk of getting sick. The virus may also be spread through respiratory droplets and through touching items that have been contaminated with the fluids or sores of an individual with monkeypox.
To prevent the spread of monkeypox, St. Croix County Public Health and DHS encourage residents to:
- Know the symptoms and risk factors of monkeypox.
- 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, avoid participating in activities with close, personal, skin-to-skin contact that may pose a higher risk of exposure.
- Contact a healthcare professional and avoid close contact with others if:
- You believe you were exposed to monkeypox.
- You have a new, unexplained rash even if you don’t think you had contact with someone who has monkeypox.
- You have a fever, chills, or swollen lymph nodes.
If you are sick with monkeypox, isolate at home until the rash has fully healed, scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. Monitor for new symptoms for 21 days after your last exposure.
Where can I find more information?
For more information on the symptoms and about preventing the spread of monkeypox, visit the DHS website. We recommend talking to a healthcare professional about vaccination and treatment if you had known exposure to someone with monkeypox.
For free, confidential support finding healthcare and community resources near you:
- Call 211 or visit 211Wisconsin.org
- Call 877-947-2211
- Text your ZIP code to 898-211