Public Health reports 230 cases of monkeypox in Ontario, up from 156 last week

Public Health Ontario is reporting 230 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the province, most of which are located in Toronto.

Monday’s tally rose by 74 cases from the 156 confirmed as of July 11.

The agency’s latest report says the cases are largely in southern Ontario, with 172 cases in Toronto, as well as one in Sudbury and North Bay.

One of the confirmed cases is a woman – who was registered last week – and the rest of those affected are men, aged 37 on average.

Public Health says most cases are in men who report intimate contact with men, but say anyone can get monkeypox.

The report said nine people were hospitalized with the illness and one person was in intensive care.

There are also eight probable cases of monkeypox in Ontario, all in men between the ages of 31 and 69.

Dr. Kieran Moore, the province’s chief medical officer, recently said monkeypox will likely be present for « several months » due to its long incubation period, but noted that Ontario does not know rapid growth of the virus.

The virus usually does not spread easily and is transmitted by prolonged close contact via respiratory droplets, direct contact with broken skin or bodily fluids, or through contaminated clothing or bedding.

Common symptoms include skin rashes, mouth and genital sores, and swollen lymph nodes.

Monkeypox disease comes from the same family of viruses that cause smallpox, which the World Health Organization declared eradicated worldwide in 1980. Smallpox vaccines have been shown to be effective in combating monkeypox virus.

Local Ontario public health units hold vaccination clinics for people the province deems to be at high risk of contracting monkeypox.

Moore said the province isn’t looking to expand its vaccination strategy at this time because « it seems to be working. »


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