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HomeHealth and LifestyleFirst Lab-Confirmed Case Of Monkeypox Found In Our Region

First Lab-Confirmed Case Of Monkeypox Found In Our Region

KAWARTHA LAKES-The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR District Health Unit) is reporting its first lab-confirmed case of the Monkeypox virus in its jurisdiction.

“We want to reassure everyone that we are notifying and following up with all close contacts. The risk to the public is low,” says Dr. Natalie Bocking, Medical Officer of Health, with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Monkeypox cases have been circulating in Ontario for a couple of months, including in our neighbouring health unit regions, so the finding of a local case is not a surprise.”

The first local case was confirmed on Wednesday, July 27, 2022, and involves a resident from Northumberland County who is currently recovering and in isolation according to the health unit. Officials also completed follow-up with this individual and has contacted anyone else who may have had close contact with this case, including those who may require vaccination against the virus.

“While Monkeypox is not easily spread between individuals, we do encourage people to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the virus and seek medical attention if symptoms start to present,” Dr. Bocking adds. “Our experience with COVID-19, and the recent rise in monkeypox cases, highlight the risk that infectious diseases can emerge and quickly spread around the world. A strong system of public health response continues to be essential.”

Monkeypox is a viral disease mainly found in countries in central and west Africa. Recently, monkeypox cases have been detected in other countries where it is not usually seen, including Canada. Provincially in its latest update on July 26, Public Health Ontario reports 326 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Ontario, with more than three-quarters of these cases reported in Toronto.

On July 23, the World Health Organization’s Director General also issued a statement declaring that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.

Monkeypox can be spread from human to human, through close, direct contact with infected bodily fluids (i.e. lesions, blisters) or respiratory droplets (i.e. coughing). While Monkeypox is in the same family as smallpox, Monkeypox is less contagious and includes milder symptoms. People usually develop symptoms five to 21 days after being exposed to the monkeypox virus. Symptoms can include: rash or blister in mouth and around genital areas; swollen lymph nodes; fever and chills; muscle aches; headaches; and exhaustion.

Anyone who experiences symptoms of Monkeypox should seek immediate medical attention. Monkeypox symptoms can be managed, and individuals typically recover within two to four weeks. A vaccine is also available for either pre-exposure or post-exposure prophylaxis associated with confirmed cases. To find out if you are eligible for the vaccine, visit the Health Unit’s Monkeypox Virus web page. If you fit the eligibility criteria for the vaccine, call the HKPR District Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1507, to check availability and to book an appointment.


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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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