Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) has confirmed the first reported case of monkeypox virus in Norfolk County. The individual is currently isolating at home and all contacts have been notified by the HNHU.
Routine practices, such as regular hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette are important measures to prevent a variety of infections, including monkeypox. Members of the public should be aware of monkeypox symptoms and contact their primary care provider immediately if they have any concerns. “There is no increased risk of monkeypox to the general public stemming from this case,” said Dr. Matthew Strauss, Acting Medical Officer of Health for the HNHU. “Outside of an emergency situation, if you have symptoms of monkeypox, it is important to stay home and call your doctor to be assessed. When seeking medical care, you should wear a high-quality medical mask and cover-up all lesions and open sores.”
Human monkeypox is a disease caused by the monkeypox virus. The virus is primarily transmitted person-to-person through direct physical contact with the rash. Transmission through respiratory secretions is less common and requires prolonged face-to-face contact with close proximity to an infected person.
Most people infected with monkeypox will have mild symptoms and recover on their own without treatment. Symptoms of monkeypox typically include fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, low energy, muscle aches and skin rash or lesions (which may appear on the face or genitals and then spread to other areas). Symptoms can start within five to 21 days after exposure to monkeypox but usually, appear in six to 13 days. Symptoms last between two to four weeks.
The smallpox vaccine provides protection against monkeypox. Close contacts of a positive monkeypox case are eligible to receive the vaccine.
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit continues to monitor the situation, investigate suspected and confirmed cases and complete contact tracing. For more information on the virus, visit hnhu.org.