You may have heard or read recent media reports about monkeypox.
It is important to note that while there has been a lot of attention given to this story in recent days, the risk of monkeypox to residents of London and Middlesex County is VERY LOW at this time.
The Middlesex-London Health Unit has reached out to healthcare providers across our region to make them aware of the situation, as well as the signs and symptoms of monkeypox to watch for. We have also asked them to be vigilant and to contact the Health Unit if they suspect a case of monkeypox in one of their patients.
Middlesex-London Health Unit Reports First Local Case of Monkeypox
Monday, June 13
On Monday, June 13, the Health Unit reported the first case of monkeypox in the Middlesex-London region. Health Unit staff members have determined that the person diagnosed with the illness has no close contacts who require post-exposure prophylaxis for monkeypox or additional follow-up from public health. Please note: The risk to the community remains very low. Learn more →
The Health Unit will continue to monitor the situation closely and will continue to work with local healthcare providers to identify any other potential cases.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a viral illness, which is endemic in parts of central and western Africa. It can be spread to people through direct contact with the bodily fluids or lesions of infected people or animals, as well as from contaminated clothing or bedding and through respiratory droplets following prolonged exposure to an infected person. Symptoms include fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, and lethargy, followed by the development of a rash (pox lesions). The rash can appear on the face and extremities a few days after symptoms begin and can spread to other parts of the body. A person is considered infectious from five days before the onset of their rash until their lesions have crusted over, and the scabs have dried up and fallen off.
There is no specific treatment for monkeypox virus infection, although antivirals developed for use against smallpox and post-exposure vaccination with the smallpox vaccine may help. Evidence shows that prior vaccination against smallpox provides cross-protection against monkeypox. For more information, please visit www.healthunit.com/monkeypox.
For more information about monkeypox, visit the Public Health Agency of Canada or the Ontario Ministry of Health's websites.