Health Unit Reports First Case of Monkeypox in its Region
Risk to public is low, as positive case is recovering and all close contacts have been notified.
PORT HOPE, ON (July 27, 2022) – The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR District Health Unit) is reporting its first lab-confirmed case of the Mpox virus in its region.
The first local case of Monkeypox was confirmed on Wednesday, July 27, 2022, and involves a resident from Northumberland County who is currently recovering and in isolation. The HKPR District Health Unit has 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.
“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. “Mpox 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.”
Mpox is a viral disease mainly found in countries in central and west Africa. Recently, Mpox 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 Mpox 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 Mpox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.
Mpox 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 Mpox should seek immediate medical attention. Mpox 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 Mpox 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.
“While Mpox 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 mpox 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.”
If you need further help or guidance on Mpox, call the HKPR District Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1232, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For media inquiries, contact:
Ashley Beaulac, Manager of Communication Services, HKPR District Health Unit, 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1212, email@example.com.
About the Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit provides important public health programs and services to residents in Northumberland County, Haliburton County, and the City of Kawartha Lakes. Our dedicated team of public health professionals, led by our Medical Officer of Health, promote healthy living, protect against disease, and prevent illness and injury. We work with health care providers and community partners to address emerging health issues, service gaps and social inequities to support residents in being well and reaching their full potential. Our values of trust, engagement, accountability, and leadership guide what we do every day. Learn more at www.hkpr.on.ca.