Southwestern reports first monkeypox case

Southwestern Public Health announced its first positive case of monkeypox in its region, in an adult male, on Thursday, Sept. 15, but for now isn’t saying where, citing “an active investigation.”

In a statement, the health unit said the virus was transmissible through direct contact with lesions, respiratory secretions, or materials contaminated by the virus, such as bedding.

Symptoms usually develop 5 to 21 days following an exposure. Individuals are contagious for 7 to 14 days and for up to 21 days.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ninh Tran said, “Monkeypox does not typically spread easily among people without close, prolonged contact with a case. As with many other diseases that spread through close contact, people can lower their risk by maintaining physical distance, frequent hand washing, and practicing respiratory hygiene including masking.”

Anyone who develops a rash after feeling unwell, or after a known exposure, was asked by SWPH to self-isolate and call their primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario for advice.

Southwestern Public Health offers pre-exposure vaccination appointments to those who may have a high-risk of transmission or complications from an infection.