Mpox

Mpox is caused by the monkeypox virus, which is closely related to the virus that causes smallpox. Prior to 2022, mpox was commonly detected in parts of Central and West Africa where the virus spreads through contact with infected wild animals. In early 2022, an outbreak of mpox began in Europe and quickly spread worldwide, including to Canada, with most infections occurring as a result of direct and prolonged close contact with an infected person via intimate or sexual contact. Although the mpox outbreak in Ontario was declared over in December 2022, mpox infections continue to be detected, suggesting ongoing local transmission.

Mpox typically involves a painful rash/lesion that can occur anywhere on the body including in the mouth and genitals. Other symptoms that can start before or after the rash/lesion include fever, chills, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, headache, muscle aches, and sore throat. Most people recover fully within two to four weeks and treatment focuses on pain control and symptom management. Individuals at high-risk for mpox infection should consider getting vaccinated.

Healthcare providers looking for current information on mpox, including guidance on case and contact management, and vaccine and antiviral use can visit the Ontario Ministry of Health’s mpox webpage.

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Updated 26 March 2024