monkeypox in toronto

First case of monkeypox confirmed in Toronto and here's what you need to know

Monkeypox is officially in Toronto, public health officials confirmed Thursday afternoon, just days after reporting a potential exposure to the rare zoonotic virus at two local nightclubs.

"Toronto Public Health (TPH) has received notification confirming Toronto's first reported case of monkeypox virus," announced the city in a news release. "The individual remains stable and is recovering in hospital."

In addition to the confirmed probable case announced today, three newly-suspected cases have been reported to TPH, bringing the total number of potential patients in Canada's largest city to four.

Two other suspected cases have been removed from Toronto's count after laboratory tests confirmed that they were both negative.

"A probable case of monkeypox is defined as a person with signs and symptoms of the virus including a rash and contact with a confirmed or probable case, travel to a region where a confirmed case has been detected or exposure to an infected animal," writes Toronto Public Health.

"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 of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, swollen lymph nodes and "a rash that often appears within a few days after symptoms begin and starts on the face and spreads to other parts of the body."

Spread through contact with body fluids, it's of note that monkeypox is a lot less contagious than COVID and that most people recover on their own without treatment.

That said, the same precautions we all got used to taking amid the pandemic are exactly what health officials prescribe for monkeypox: Maintaining physical distance, frequent hand washing and respiratory hygiene including masking.

"While monkeypox does not generally spread easily between people, because it has now been detected in Toronto, residents should be aware of the virus' symptoms described above," says TPH, which is now asking anyone with symptoms to report them to their healthcare provider as soon as possible.

"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. Healthcare providers are reminded that individuals suspected of monkeypox infection must be reported to Public Health Ontario."

Lead photo by

World Health Organization

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