Monkeypox: monitoring globally, nationally and locally

Monkeypox is an infectious disease that can spread between animals and humans.  It was first discovered in a colony of monkeys in 1958, with the first human case recorded in 1970.  The disease has mainly been found in central and western African nations.  In the past, a limited number of cases related to international travel or imported animals have also been found in other regions, including the United Kingdom, United States, Israel and Singapore.  The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Ministry of Health Ontario are now closely monitoring clusters of cases that have recently been identified in Canada, the United States and Europe.

Early signs and symptoms of monkeypox include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, and exhaustion.  One to three days later, a rash develops progressing to lesions which often starts on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body.  The lesions move through various stages before falling off. The incubation period is typically 7-14 days.  

Monkeypox is transmitted through close contact with the virus from a human, animal or material contaminated with the virus.  Modes of entry are through broken skin, respiratory tract, bodily fluids, and mucous membranes.  Transmission primarily occurs through large respiratory droplets, and direct or indirect contact with lesions or lesion material. Individuals can pass the virus from symptom onset until all lesions have fallen off and new skin is present.

At this time in Canada, one dose of the monkeypox vaccine (Imvamune®) can be given to eligible persons as per the Ontario Ministry of Health guidelines

Printable PDF – Monkeypox: Monitoring globally, nationally and locally

For more information on the monkeypox and the status of the disease in Canada, please visit the links below.

Government of Canada - Monkeypox: Outbreak update

World Health Organization (WHO) - Monkeypox: Key Facts

Public Health Ontario - Monkeypox

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) - Monkeypox Clinician Update