First case of monkeypox identified in Wisconsin, state health officials say


First case of monkeypox identified in Wisconsin, state health officials say

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) identified the first confirmed case of orthopoxvirus, suspected to be monkeypox, in a Dane County resident Thursday, June 30.

According to a press release, the patient is currently in isolation and the risk to the general public remains low. As of June 30, there have been 396 confirmed cases of monkeypox and orthopoxvirus in the United States as a result of this outbreak. DHS, federal, state and local partners are working closely together to investigate and monitor the current monkeypox outbreak.

Officials say monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It is typically characterized by a new, unexplained rash and skin lesions. Other early symptoms of monkeypox include fever, chills, and swollen lymph nodes. Recently identified cases have developed genital, groin, and anal skin lesions that could be confused with rashes caused by common diseases such as herpes and syphilis.


Digitally colorized electron microscopic (EM) image depicting a monkeypox virion (virus particle) derived from a clinical specimen related to a 2003 prairie dog outbreak, published June 6, 2022. Image shows a thin section of a human

Most people with monkeypox recover within two to four weeks without requiring treatment. However, vaccinations and antiviral drugs can be used to prevent and treat monkeypox. People who have known to have been in contact with someone with monkeypox should speak to a doctor or nurse to find out if they qualify for vaccination. This includes people specifically identified as having had close or intimate personal contact with someone with the characteristic monkeypox rash or someone with a probable or confirmed diagnosis of monkeypox.


It is important to know that monkeypox does not spread easily from person to person. The virus is transmitted through respiratory droplets, prolonged skin contact, and contact with objects that have been contaminated with the fluids or wounds of a person with monkeypox. Anyone can develop and spread this disease after exposure to the virus. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that most cases of monkeypox in the United States have occurred in gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM).


To help prevent the spread of monkeypox, DHS urges all Wisconsini residents to observe the following:

  • Know symptoms and risk factors of monkeypox.
  • Avoid skin-to-skin contact with anyone showing a rash or skin sores. Don’t touch the rash or scabs, and don’t kiss, hug, cuddle, have sex, or share items like eating utensils or bedding with someone with monkeypox.
  • In jurisdictions with a known prevalence of monkeypox, participation in activities involving close, personal, skin-to-skin contact may pose a higher risk of exposure.
  • If you’ve recently been exposed to the virus, consult a doctor or nurse to discuss whether you need a vaccine to prevent the disease. Monitor your health for a fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and a new, unexplained rash, and contact a doctor if any of these develop. If you become ill, avoid contact with others until you receive medical attention.

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The DHS Outbreaks in Wisconsin The website will be updated with the latest case numbers of monkeypox.

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