First local case of Monkeypox reported by Public Health Sudbury & Districts

Sudbury, ON—Public Health Sudbury & Districts has received notification confirming a case of monkeypox in a person from its service area. This individual likely acquired the infection in the Toronto area. This individual is currently isolating, and the close contacts have been identified.

“At this time, the risk to the general population remains low, as we have not detected the virus circulating in Sudbury and districts, and it does not spread easily. Residents should not be concerned going about their routine everyday activities,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Penny Sutcliffe. “Public Health continues to closely monitor the situation. We advise any person who develops symptoms or who has had contact with a suspected or known case of monkeypox to contact their health care provider immediately. Anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, age, or gender can spread monkeypox through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, or by sharing contaminated items,” said Dr. Sutcliffe.

Monkeypox is a rare disease not common to North America. It spreads through close contact with a person infected with the virus, or their clothing or linens. It can enter the body through skin-to-skin contact with body fluids (for example, saliva, lesions, blisters, or rashes) and through mucus membranes or respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact (for example, breathing, talking, and coughing).

Symptoms typically develop 5 to 21 days after exposure and last from 2 to 4 weeks. They occur in two stages and may include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, headache, muscle, joint and back pain, and exhaustion. A rash lasting between 14 and 21 days may also appear on the face or extremities, as well as the hands, feet, mouth, and genitals that later form scabs.

Anyone diagnosed with monkeypox must isolate until all scabs have fallen off and have healed, typically in 2 to 4 weeks. Vaccination is available for high-risk contacts of cases to prevent infection.

Monkeypox is usually a mild illness and treatment focuses on relieving symptoms. Generally, most people recover on their own after a few weeks.

For more information or if you have questions about monkeypox, please visit phsd.ca or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200, ext. 772 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).