First monkeypox case confirmed in Peterborough region

Peterborough Public Health has notified contacts of infected person who are being offered a vaccine

A colourized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox virus particles (green) cultivated and purified from cell culture. (Photo: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)
A colourized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox virus particles (green) cultivated and purified from cell culture. (Photo: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

Peterborough Public Health announced the first confirmed case of monkeypox in the region on Wednesday (June 22).

Although the health unit has provided no specific details on the case, they say contact tracing efforts are complete and case management continues for the infected person.

The health unit is also reassuring residents that those who have been in contact with the case have been notified, and that contacts of the case are being offered a vaccine as a form of post-exposure prophylaxis.

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“Monkeypox virus has been circulating in Ontario for a few weeks now,” says medical officer of health Dr. Thomas Piggott in a media release. “We did anticipate it would arrive in our region and we are prepared to support case and contact efforts.”

“Monkeypox is not easily spread between people,” he adds. “However, we do recommend that everyone be aware of the signs and symptoms of the virus and seek immediate medical attention if symptoms present.”

The monkeypox virus can spread among animals and humans through close prolonged contact. While monkeypox is in the same family as smallpox, monkeypox presents with much milder symptoms and is less contagious.

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Symptoms can present within five to 21 days of exposure to someone who has the virus. Symptoms can include a rash or blister in mouth and around genital areas, swollen lymph nodes, fever and chills, muscle aches, headaches, and exhaustion.

The health unit says any residents who experience these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately. While there is no treatment for the monkeypox virus, symptoms can be managed and individuals typically recover within two to four weeks.

For more information on monkeypox, visit the Peterborough Public Health website at peterboroughpublichealth.ca/your-health/monkeypox/