Monkeypox

Monkeypox is a viral illness that is usually spread from animals to humans. Human-to-human transmission can occur through direct contact with monkeypox sores, bodily fluids, or respiratory droplets, or through contact with contaminated clothing, bedding, or common items. 

Symptoms

Symptoms of monkeypox typically include a fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes and exhaustion, followed by the development of a rash over a person's body.

Exposure

  • If you have had or think you have had a monkeypox exposure, call 1-888-221-2133 during regular business hours (8:30 AM - 4:30 PM | Monday to Friday).
  • After hours and on weekends, please call our on-call service:
    • If you are a Huron resident call 519-482-7077
    • If you are a Perth resident call 1-800-431-2054

Vaccine and eligibility

Based on the Ontario Ministry of Health's guidelines, the monkeypox vaccine, Imvamune®, is available to the following groups if they meet one of the following eligibility criteria:

1) For the Purposes of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP):

a) Two-spirited, non-binary, trans or cis-gender individuals who self-identify or have sexual partners who self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) community, AND at least one of the following:

  • Have had two or more sexual partners recently or may be planning to, OR
  • Have received a diagnosis of a bacterial STI (e.g. chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis) in the past two months, OR
  • Have attended venues for sexual contact (i.e. bath houses, sex clubs) recently or may be planning to, or who work/volunteer in these settings, OR
  • Have had anonymous sex (i.e. using dating or hookup apps) recently, or may be planning to, OR
  • Are a sexual contact of an individual who engages in sex work

b) Any individual who engages in sex work or may be planning to.

Household and/or sexual contacts of those identified for PrEP eligibility in parts (a) and (b) above AND who are moderately to severely immunocompromised or pregnant may be at higher risk for severe illness from a monkeypox infection and may be considered for PrEP. Individuals should contact their healthcare provider (or their local public health unit) for more information.

NOTE:

  • Given the current supply constraints, Ontario is using a single dose of Imvamune® to limit ongoing transmission. Two doses are recommended for moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals and certain research laboratory employees. This approach is continually being evaluated as the epidemiology and vaccine supply evolve.
  •  It is recommended to not receive Imvamune® at the same time as other vaccines, and to wait at least 14 days after receiving Imvamune before getting any other vaccinations.

If you meet vaccine eligibility and/or want to talk about whether you meet eligibility, email our HPPH vaccine team. Messages using this form are seen by a public health nurse.

Resources