Monkeypox Ottawa: Province confirms 11 cases in nation’s capital

Public Health Ontario confirms 11 cases of monkeypox in Ottawa.

The first case in the nation’s capital was confirmed on June 10. The latest figure comes from a report recently released by provincial health authorities, which reported 156 confirmed cases across the province, the vast majority in Toronto.

Ottawa Public Health says it is still seeing people testing positive for the virus, but vaccines are slowing the spread.

“OPH, together with our community partners, has given vaccines to people at higher risk for monkeypox – this is called pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP. We are working closely with our partners to share information with the communities most affected. We encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” OPH said in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.

“OPH continues to work with community partners to offer additional clinics – including in a variety of different settings. We are monitoring the need for additional clinical capacity to ensure eligible residents can access the vaccine. We also use a targeted approach to reach individuals using digital advertisements through various mobile applications.”

Monkeypox vaccination clinics are underway at the Centertown Community Health Center. Details on how to get a monkeypox vaccine can be found on the Ottawa Public Health website.

As the total number of cases in Ontario topped 100, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said the province’s immunization strategy is working to stabilize growth in the province.

Monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by a virus present in certain wild species in Central and West Africa.

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, headache, exhaustion, and a rash that often appears on the face and extremities a few days after symptoms start. The virus can spread to another person through contact with exposed skin, the respiratory tract, or the eyes, nose, or mouth.

According to Public Health Ontario, the most commonly reported risk factors include sexual or intimate contact with a new partner and/or more than one partner. Although cases have primarily been identified in men who report sexual or intimate contact with other men, anyone can get monkeypox.

Ottawa Public Health offers the following advice on how to prevent the spread of monkeypox:

  • Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Do not kiss, hug, hug, or have sex with anyone who has or may have monkeypox.
  • Avoid skin-to-skin contact with monkeypox rashes or lesions.
  • Avoid sharing items such as toothbrushes, utensils, sex toys or drug paraphernalia.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (such as doorknobs and telephones).
  • Avoid touching bedding and linens that have been in contact with a person or animal that may be carrying the virus.
  • Avoid contact with sick or dead animals
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for someone at home who has the virus, including a medical mask and disposable gloves for direct contact with lesions.

–With files from CTV’s Josh Pringle.

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