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Hamilton Public Health Services confirms first case of monkeypox

Hamilton Public Health Services confirms first case of monkeypox

City of Hamilton Public Health Services has confirmed the first case of monkeypox in a resident of Hamilton, who was most likely infected during a recent visit to Toronto. The individual is currently isolating and Hamilton Public Health Services has notified all close contacts.

Symptoms of Monkeypox include:

fever

headaches

muscle aches

exhaustion

swollen lymph nodes

rash or lesions that typically start on the face and spread to other parts of the body

Following infection, the incubation period (number of days between exposure/infection and onset of symptoms) is normally six to 13 days but can range to as much as three weeks (21 days). Most people recover on their own without treatment.

Transmission of Monkeypox

In general, monkeypox does not spread easily between individuals. When the virus does spread, it is through contact with bodily fluids such as fluids from the sores, contaminated clothing or bedding, or through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact. Spread can also happen through bites or scratches from infected animals. Anyone who is infected can spread monkeypox through contact with bodily fluids, monkeypox sores, or by sharing contaminated items. Household disinfectants can kill the virus.

Close contact of an individual suspected or confirmed to have a monkeypox infection

Close contacts should self-monitor for symptoms for three weeks (21 days) after their most recent exposure. If symptoms develop, individuals should self-isolate, contact their local Public Health Unit, seek medical care from their general practitioner as soon as possible, and get tested.

Preventive measures to reduce the spread

Individuals can lower their risk of infection by maintaining physical distance, frequent and thorough washing of hands with soap and water, and wearing a well-fitting mask.

The Imvamune vaccine is approved in Canada for protection against monkeypox. Each eligible person receives one dose (0.5ml) of the vaccine. The vaccine contains weakened virus and cannot make an individual sick.

The vaccine can be used for protection against monkeypox before getting exposed to the virus (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) or after being exposed (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis).

Anyone can get the monkeypox virus, but during this current outbreak, in a number of countries, gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men have been affected. Hamilton Public Health Services is following federal and provincial guidance on the administration of Imvamune vaccines to protect those most at risk of contracting the monkeypox virus.

“At this time the risk to the general public remains very low, as we have not detected the virus circulating in Hamilton, and the virus does not spread easily. Hamiltonians should not be concerned going about their routine daily activities. We continue to closely monitor the situation and advise any individuals who develop symptoms or who have had close contact with a suspected or known case of monkeypox to contact their healthcare provider and local public health unit immediately.” – Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Medical Officer of Health

As of Tuesday, June 28, there have been 67 laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox reported in the province according to Public Health Ontario.

Hamilton Public Health Services hosted a pop-up monkeypox vaccination clinic on Thursday, June 30, 2022 for at-risk community members by appointment only. Over 60 doses of the monkeypox vaccine were administered for at-risk community members

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