Monkeypox

The Winnebago County Health Department is currently offering the JYNNEOS vaccine by appointment only.
At this time, vaccination is recommended for people who had known exposure to someone with monkeypox and people with certain risk factors who are more likely to be exposed to the virus. This includes:
  • Known contacts who are identified by public health through case investigation, contact tracing, and risk exposure assessments.
  • Presumed contacts who may meet the following criteria:
    • People who know that a sexual partner in the past 14 days was diagnosed with monkeypox.
    • People who attended an event or venue where there was known monkeypox exposure.
    • Gay men, bisexual men, trans men and women, any men who have sex with men, and gender non-conforming/non-binary people who have had multiple sexual partners in the last 14 days.
  • People considered to have an elevated risk of exposure to monkeypox in the future:
    • Gay men, bisexual men, trans men and women, any men who have sex with men, and gender non-conforming/non-binary people who expect to have multiple or anonymous sex partners. This may include people living with HIV and people who take HIV pre-exposure because of increased risk of sexually transmitted infections.
    • Clinical laboratory personnel who perform testing to diagnose orthopoxviruses, including those who use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays for diagnosis of orthopoxviruses, including monkeypox virus.
    • Research laboratory workers who directly handle cultures or animals contaminated or infected with orthopoxviruses that infect humans, including monkeypox virus, replication-competent vaccinia virus, or recombinant vaccinia viruses derived from replication-competent vaccinia virus strains.
    • Certain health care providers working in sexual health clinics or other specialty settings directly caring for patients with sexually transmitted infections.

To help prevent the onset of disease, JYNNEOS should be administered within four days from the date of exposure to the monkeypox virus. If the vaccine is administered between four to 14 days after the date of exposure, getting vaccinated may help reduce the severity of symptoms associated with monkeypox infection.

To make an appointment or see if you qualify, please contact the Health Department Hotline at 920-232-3026 or email wchd.cd@winnebagocountywi.gov.


For current case counts, visit:

Current risk to Winnebago County residents is LOW (updated 8/29/22).


Symptoms of monkeypox can include:
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)

Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later. The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.

Contact a doctor immediately if you develop any unexpected skin lesions or rashes or were exposed to someone with a probable or confirmed case of monkeypox. 

The current strain is rarely deadly, however the symptoms can be extremely painful and may cause scarring. People with weakened immune systems, children under 8 years of age, people with a history of eczema, and people who are pregnant or breastfeeding may be more likely to get very sick or die.


How it Spreads:

Monkeypox does not spread easily from person to person. People must have close, sustained contact with an infected person to get the virus. People usually become infected with monkeypox:

  • By having direct contact with the skin lesions or body fluids of an infected person,
  • Through sharing items, such as bedding or clothing of an infected person, or
  • Through prolonged exposure to an infected person's respiratory secretions.

Monkeypox can also be spread to people from animals through bites, scratches, preparation of meat or use of a product from an infected animal. Pregnant people can also spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.

Monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

Anyone can develop and spread monkeypox after being exposed to the virus. Based on the current outbreak, certain populations are being affected by monkeypox more than others. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the virus is impacting some members of LGBTQ community, with a disproportionate impact among men who have sex with men, as well as transgender and nonbinary individuals.

While most cases nationwide are occurring in the sexual network of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, it is important to know that monkeypox can affect anyone and a person’s sexuality or sexual orientation are not the route of transmission.


Treatment:

While most people who have monkeypox recover without needing treatment within two to four weeks, there are effective treatments for people with severe monkeypox.

antiviral medications that have been used to treat smallpox, such as tecovirimat (TPOXX), may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems.

People who have been exposed to someone with monkeypox may be eligible to receive a vaccine to help prevent the onset of disease. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services will work with healthcare providers to obtain vaccines and treatment when necessary.

If you have symptoms of monkeypox, you should talk to your healthcare provider, even if you don’t think you had contact with someone who has monkeypox.


Vaccination:

Two smallpox vaccines licensed by the FDA are available to prevent monkeypox: JYNNEOS, also known as Imvamune or Imvanex, and ACAM2000.

However, due to a limited vaccine supply, DHS is currently following the federal government’s recommendation to prioritize the JYNNEOS vaccine for individuals at the highest risk of infection.

In Wisconsin, vaccination is now recommended for people 18 years and older who had known exposure to someone with monkeypox and people with certain risk factors who are more likely to be exposed to the virus. This includes:

  • Known contacts who are identified by public health through case investigation, contact tracing, and risk exposure assessments.
  • Presumed contacts who may meet the following criteria:
    • People who know that a sexual partner in the past 14 days was diagnosed with monkeypox.
    • People who attended an event or venue where there was known monkeypox exposure.
    • Gay men, bisexual men, trans men and women, any men who have sex with men, and gender non-conforming/non-binary people who have had multiple sexual partners in the last 14 days.
  • People considered to have an elevated risk of exposure to monkeypox in the future:
    • Gay men, bisexual men, trans men and women, any men who have sex with men, and gender non-conforming/non-binary people who expect to have multiple or anonymous sex partners. This may include people living with HIV and people who take HIV pre-exposure because of increased risk of sexually transmitted infections.
    • Clinical laboratory personnel who perform testing to diagnose orthopoxviruses, including those who use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays for diagnosis of orthopoxviruses, including monkeypox virus.
    • Research laboratory workers who directly handle cultures or animals contaminated or infected with orthopoxviruses that infect humans, including monkeypox virus, replication-competent vaccinia virus, or recombinant vaccinia viruses derived from replication-competent vaccinia virus strains.
    • Certain health care providers working in sexual health clinics or other specialty settings directly caring for patients with sexually transmitted infections.

CDC recommends that the vaccine be given within 4 days from the date of exposure for the best chance to prevent onset of the disease.

Click here for frequently asked questions about the monkeypox vaccine.

Click here for more information about vaccination in Wisconsin (Source: Wisconsin Department of Health Services)


To prevent the spread of monkeypox:
  • 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.
  • If you were recently exposed to the virus, contact a doctor or nurse to talk about whether you need a vaccine to prevent disease. Monitor for symptoms for 21 days after your date of last exposure. It is important to check your temperature two times per day during your monitoring period. If symptoms begin, contact a doctor immediately and avoid contact with others until you receive health care. Use this form to record your signs and symptoms if you are exposed to monkeypox: English | Chinese | Hindi | Hmong | Somali | Spanish
  • If you are sick with monkeypox, isolate at home and away from people or pets you live with until: 
      • The rash has fully resolved,
      • Scabs have fallen off, AND
      • A fresh layer of intact skin has formed.
  • In jurisdictions with known monkeypox spread, participating in activities with close, personal, skin-to-skin contact may pose a higher risk of exposure.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

 

Additional Resources:Monkeypox Facts
Monkeypox Data Summaries