GUELPH – Public health officials have identified the first case of monkeypox in the region, but stress there is no increased risk to the general public.
The first case of the virus was discovered in a Guelph man, aged 20 to 30, states a June 17 press release from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH).
“There is no increased risk of monkeypox to the general public stemming from this case,” stated Dr. Matthew Tenenbaum, associate medical officer of health.
“The virus is primarily transmitted through contact with fluid from the virus’ lesions, so it is important to be aware and take necessary precautions if you are in intimate contact with someone who has monkeypox lesions.”
Officials say public health is following up with treatment for the first case and notifying those who could be at risk and may require vaccination against the virus.
“A close contact of a positive monkeypox case is defined as someone who has had intimate, skin-to-skin contact with the monkeypox rash or contact with the case’s infectious droplets,” states the WDGPH release.
The monkeypox virus is related to the smallpox virus and has similar but less severe symptoms.
Monkeypox symptoms can include fever, headache, fatigue, and a rash/lesions, which officials say may appear on the face or genitals and then spread to other areas.
“Most people recover on their own without treatment, and close contacts of a positive case can be effectively treated with a vaccine,” officials state.
“Beyond taking steps to reduce risk of infection, no action is required by members of the public with respect to this case, but the public should be aware of monkeypox symptoms and contact their primary care provider immediately if they have any concerns.”