First confirmed case of monkeypox in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark

Monkeypox virus. Image via United Nations Science Photo Library.

An individual living in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark area has a laboratory-confirmed case of monkeypox. This is the first reported case of the virus in the area, and the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) District Health Unit is following up with the individual.

According to a release from the LGL Health Unit, monkeypox can spread from person to person by close face-to-face contact with respiratory secretions of an infected individual, or direct contact with the skin lesions of monkeypox, or contact with contaminated clothing or bedding. Common household disinfectants can kill the monkeypox virus.

In Ontario, the most commonly reported risk factors for developing monkeypox infection include engaging in sexual or intimate contact (e.g., hugging, kissing, cuddling) with new and/or more than one partner, according to a Public Health Ontario report.

“To date, we are unaware of any cases of monkeypox in the Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox & Addington region,” KFL&A Public Health stated on their website. “KFL&A Public Health has contacted healthcare providers across our region to inform them of the signs and symptoms and how to report suspect cases to Public Health Ontario.”

Chart of case numbers from Public Health Ontario report.

Symptoms of monkeypox usually develop one to two weeks (range five to 21 days) after exposure, the Health Unit stated, and can include fever, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes and rash/lesions (which may appear in the mouth/face or genitals and then spread to other areas.) If an individual has any monkeypox symptoms, they should contact their healthcare provider and avoid close contact with others until symptoms have been diagnosed, and rash/lesion(s) has healed, according to the release.

For information about monkeypox, visit the Health Unit’s website: Fact Sheets – Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit.

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