Appleton confirms 3rd monkeypox case
APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Appleton now has three confirmed cases of monkeypox. We know the first two cases are not connected, but the city hasn’t provided further details on this latest patient.
The number of Wisconsin cases continues to grow since June 1. As of Tuesday, July 26, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 12 cases in the Badger State.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted 3,590 cases nationwide. The World Health Organization recently declared the orthopoxvirus a global health emergency with more than 19,000 cases so far, mostly in Europe and the U.S.
“It’s a pretty significant outbreak. We’ve never seen anything like this with monkeypox in the world before. That significant outbreak is controllable at this point,” Prevea Health president/CEO Dr. Ashok Rai told Action 2 News.
Which is why it’s important to be able to identify signs of the virus, which often begin with cold or flu-like symptoms and then the appearance of a rash. That rash can turn into blisters and open sores, which can sometimes be painful.
“I think a lot of people have googled monkeypox and they’re seeing these pictures of people with a rash over their face and pustules. It’s important to remember what we’re seeing now around the world, sometimes it’s just a single pustule in an area you can’t always see,” Dr. Rai said.
Health officials say that’s why testing is now a priority.
Getting the orthopoxvirus isn’t as easy as contracting COVID-19. Monkeypox is most commonly spread through sexual contact, but any skin-to-skin contact can transmit the virus.
There are antiviral treatments available for monkeypox. In some areas of the country, a vaccine is being offered to people considered at high risk, like men who have sex with men. So far, with a dozen cases, Wisconsin hasn’t had the need.
“In Chicago and New York, in areas where there’s hundreds of cases, there are vaccine programs that are starting to get launched. And Wisconsin is prepared to do that, but there’s some details to work out when there’s sort of an opportunity to do that. Where there’s a lot of cases, we can expect a vaccine program at some point,” Ajay Sethi, a population health sciences professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison said.
Health officials say a number of potential orthopoxvirus cases are still being investigated, so the number of confirmed cases in Wisconsin is expected to rise in the coming weeks.
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