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Toronto Public Health investigates first suspected case of monkeypox

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Toronto Public Health (TPH) is currently investigating its first suspected case of monkeypox in an adult male resident in their 40s with recent contact with an individual who travelled to Montreal. The individual is currently stable and recovering in the hospital.

While the risk to the general public from this infection is very low, members of the public may have been exposed to monkeypox in the following settings:

  • An event at the Axis Club (hosted by Prism), located at 722 College St. on May 14
  • Woody’s bar, located at 467 Church St. on May 13 and on May 14
Close-up of monkeypox lesions on the arm and leg of a female child. Human infection with monkeypox-like virus in 4 year-old female in Bondua, Grand Gedeh County, Liberia. This infection was caused by a pox virus of the vaccinia, variola, monkeypox type.

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by a virus that is normally found endemic in central and western Africa. It was first identified in monkeys, but its origins remain unknown. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes and a rash that often begins on the face and spreads to other parts of the body.

Is monkeypox treatable?

Most people recover on their own without treatment.

How is monkeypox transimitted?

In general, monkeypox does not spread easily between people. When it does, it spreads through contact with body fluids such as fluids from the monkeypox sores, contaminated clothing or bedding, or through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact. It can also be spread through bites or scratches from infected animals. Anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, can spread monkeypox through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, or by sharing contaminated items. Common household disinfectants can kill the monkeypox virus.

As of May 20, a number of countries have documented clusters of cases of the monkeypox virus infection, including the United States and Canada. To date, Quebec has reported two lab-confirmed cases and 18 suspect cases. Some jurisdictions are reporting clustering of cases amongst men who report having sex with men.

Close contacts of people suspected or confirmed to have a monkeypox infection are advised to self-monitor for symptoms for 21 days after their last exposure. If symptoms develop, they should self-isolate, seek care and get tested.

Further information about monkeypox can be found on the Public Health Agency of Canada website  or by calling 311.

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