Eleven cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in Ottawa


Ottawa Public Health offers immunizations to eligible clients at its Sexual Health Clinic and runs ongoing immunization clinics at the Centretown Community Health Centre.

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A month after the first case was identified in Ottawa, 11 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in the city, according to Public Health Ontario.

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The majority of cases in Ontario remain centered in Toronto, where 124 have been laboratory confirmed. Cases are also starting to appear in smaller centres, including Leeds, Grenville and Lanark, which reported their first confirmed case earlier this week.

There are now 156 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Ontario and eight suspected cases: all but one are male.

The average age of confirmed cases is 37.3 years and the most common symptoms reported include skin rash, mouth or genital sores, swollen lymph nodes, headache, fever, chills, myalgia and fatigue.

According to SPO, only nine of the people with confirmed cases required hospitalization.

The province’s chief medical officer, Dr Kieran Moore, noted recently that there had not been a rapid increase in monkeypox cases, which he attributed to the vaccination strategy.

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More than 8,000 people across the province have received the smallpox vaccine which is given to people who contract the virus, their close contacts and anyone considered at risk.

Ottawa Public Health offers the vaccine to eligible clients at its Sexual Health Clinic and runs ongoing immunization clinics at the Centretown Community Health Centre.

The vaccine is available to people who have been exposed to the virus as well as people who have been diagnosed with a bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the past two months, had two or more sexual partners in the past 21 days, have frequented a place of sexual contact in 21 days, had casual anonymous sex in the same period, or had sex for work.

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Monkeypox, which belongs to the same family as smallpox, had been seen rarely outside parts of Africa, where it is endemic, until this year when cases began to spread in many parts of the world.

On Tuesday, as the number of global cases hit 9,200, the World Health Organization announced it would convene a second emergency meeting next week to determine whether monkeypox poses a threat to global health.

The cases have been reported in 63 countries since the start of this year. There were just over 6,000 reported cases worldwide as recently as July 4.

Health officials say monkeypox, which causes a rash and lesions along with flu-like symptoms, is not a sexually transmitted disease and can be spread through close contact. Most cases to date have involved men who have had sex with men.

The virus can enter the body through damaged skin, the respiratory tract or mucous membranes, including the eyes, nose or mouth.

The risk of infection is low for the general population, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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