First case of monkeypox identified in La Crosse County

LA CROSSE CO. (WKBT) – The first case of orthopoxvirus, or monkeypox, was identified in La Crosse County on Wednesday.

According to a release from the La Crosse County Health Department, the county is working with Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services and other partners on investigating the case.

The county health department says the risk to the public still remains very low.

Experts do recommend watching out for symptoms of the virus. Those include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches, headache, exhaustion, and a rash that develops into hard, round, fluid-filled skin lesions.

So far, data is showing the virus is impacting men who have sex with men, as well as transgender and non-binary people, in a disproportionate way. Anyone can get monkeypox. Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease but is spreading through intimate contact.

Monkeypox can spread through skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a rash. It can also spread through objects touched by someone with a rash, like bedding, clothing, or a toothbrush. The virus can spread through respiratory droplets. According to the La Crosse County Health Department, the virus is not typically spread during short periods of close contact.

Those who get the virus typically recover within two to four weeks. Vaccines are available for those at a high risk of getting monkeypox, including people who have been exposed to someone with the virus.

Contact your primary care provider or the health department for more information about getting vaccinated.

If you suspect you’re having symptoms of the virus, get tested. If you have the virus, avoid contact with others until you get health care.

More information on the virus can be found on the CDC website.