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Monkeypox Virus

Monkeypox is a disease that causes symptoms of rash, fever, chills, headache, swollen lymph nodes, muscle pain, and fatigue. The rash can be on the palms of the hands, on the soles of the feet, inside the mouth, and/or on the genitals. The virus spreads from direct or indirect contact with body fluids, material from skin lesions, and contaminated materials and/or from respiratory secretions.


  • Monkeypox is typically found in parts of central and west Africa. It does not usually circulate in humans or animals in Canada.

  • Initial symptoms of monkeypox may include fever, chills, headache, swollen lymph nodes, muscle pain, and fatigue followed by a rash or sores, usually one to three days later, on the palms of the hands, on the soles of the feet, inside the mouth, and/or on the genitals. In some cases, rash is the first symptom.

  • Monkeypox is usually mild. It typically goes away on its own within two to four weeks.

  • Those who have close contact with someone who has monkeypox infection while the person has symptoms are at risk of getting the virus.

  • Severe cases are more common among newborns, children, pregnant people, and people who are immunocompromised.

  • You can reduce your risk of getting monkeypox by avoiding close contact with people who have confirmed monkeypox or people with symptoms that might be due to monkeypox infection.

How does monkeypox spread?

  • Monkeypox can spread from person-to-person through respiratory secretions or through close, physical contact with someone who has monkeypox (especially from contact with the rash, bodily fluids, and/or scabs).

  • Monkeypox can also spread by touching materials and objects (e.g. clothing, bedding, towels, eating utensils, and dishes) that may be contaminated.

  • Monkeypox can also spread from someone who is pregnant to the fetus, or from a parent to a child during or after birth.

What should I do if I’ve been to a venue where there was someone with suspected or confirmed monkeypox?

Monitor for signs and symptoms for 21 days from the day you may have been exposed to someone with monkeypox. See below for what to do if you develop symptoms of monkeypox.

Who is at higher risk for monkeypox and eligible for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) vaccine?

Individuals who identify as belonging to transgender, cisgender, the gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men community may be eligible for PrEP vaccine if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • received a diagnosis of a bacterial Sexually Transmitted Infection such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis in the past two months

  • visited a bath house or sex club or are planning to, or work/volunteer in these settings

  • had anonymous sex or are planning to

  • engaged in sex work or are planning to, or are a sexual partner of a sex worker

  • had two or more sexual partners within the past 21 days or may be planning to

Individuals who are immunocompromised, pregnant, or breastfeeding may be at higher risk for severe illness from a monkeypox infection. These individuals should contact their local public health unit to determine if they are eligible to be vaccinated if they are at risk of getting monkeypox.

Is there a vaccine for monkeypox? Imvamune® vaccine is approved in Canada for protection against smallpox, monkeypox, and other orthopoxvirus-related illnesses. Imvamune® is not a treatment for monkeypox and must be given before you have symptoms of monkeypox. Currently, in Ontario, one dose of Imvamune® may be received as:

  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), which means receiving the vaccine prior to any monkeypox exposure (for those who are likely to be exposed).

  • Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), which means receiving the vaccine after a potential exposure. The vaccine should ideally be given within 4 days but can be given up to 14 days after the last exposure.

If you think you have been exposed to monkeypox, contact your local public health unit to see if you may be eligible to receive vaccine. If you have monkeypox symptoms, you should contact a health care provider to get advice on testing and/or medical care.

The Ministry of Health is working collaboratively with Public Health Ontario, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and public health units to monitor for cases in Ontario.

Although the risk for monkeypox among the general population in Ontario is low, anyone who is concerned about signs or symptoms they are experiencing are encouraged to self-isolate and contact a health care professional.


IM Injection program & Vaccinations-Advanced Certificate programs-3-5 days/Online/Blended- training/ certificate programs at Springfield College help prepare you get skills needed for a challenging career in physician’s offices, hospitals or medical clinics. Students learn details and techniques of SC, ID, IM, Depot injections, Corona vaccines, various vaccines for children and adults, safe and effective Injection techniques, patient communication and preparations in healthcare.

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