1st monkeypox case reported in Elgin-Oxford, Southwestern Public Health says

A colourized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox particles (yellow) found within an infected cell (blue), is shown in a handout photo captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The Elgin and Oxford County region of Ontario has reported its first confirmed case of monkeypox, officials with Southwestern Public Health said Thursday.

Very few details have been made public about the active case, including where the individual is located. The case involves an adult male, health officials said.

“The virus is transmissible through direct contact with lesions, respiratory secretions, or materials contaminated by the virus such as bedding,” the health unit said in a statement.

“Symptoms usually develop 5 to 21 days following an exposure. Individuals are contagious for 7 to 14 days and up to 21 days.”

The region’s medical officer of health, Dr. Ninh Tran, said the disease does not typically spread easily among people without close, prolonged contact with someone who is positive.

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“As with many other diseases that spread through close contact, people can lower their risk by maintaining physical distance, frequent hand washing, and practicing respiratory hygiene including masking,” Tran said.

Click to play video: 'Canada’s monkeypox outbreak showing ‘encouraging’ signs: WHO'
Canada’s monkeypox outbreak showing ‘encouraging’ signs: WHO

Those who develop a rash after feeling unwell, or after a known exposure, should self-isolate and call their doctor or Telehealth for advice, the health unit says.

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Pre-exposure vaccination appointments are available to those who may have a high-risk of transmission or complications from an infection.

London and Middlesex reported its first confirmed case of monkeypox in June. The first case in Canada was reported in May.

The UN designated monkeypox a global emergency in July.

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In recent weeks, monkeypox cases globally have fallen by more than a quarter, including by 55 per cent in Europe, according to the World Health Organization.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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