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Monkeypox

Symptoms

Reported symptoms are mainly skin lesions in the mouth and genital area. These lesions can be preceded or accompanied by:

  • fever;
  • night sweats;
  • headache;
  • swollen lymph nodes;
  • joint or muscle pain.

If you have been in close contact with a person showing these symptoms (such as a sexual contact or a member of your household), monitor for symptoms for the next 21 days following your last contact with this person. If you live with a person who shows the symptoms mentioned above, avoid sleeping in the same bed, avoid sharing personal items (such as bedding, clothing, dishes, etc.), limit contact with them and wear a mask in their presence.

If you have symptoms consistent with monkeypox, promptly see a health professional for assessment, wear a mask and cover the lesions. Inform the clinic staff of this before arriving for your appointment.

People suspected of having the disease will be contacted by the public health authority. They will be required to:

  • cover any lesions (with clothing or bandages);
  • avoid contact as much as possible with people who are more at risk (pregnant women, children under the age of 12, people who are immunocompromised);
  • avoid sexual contact;
  • wear a mask when they are less than one metre away from another person, both indoors and outdoors;
  • avoid sharing any items (bedding, clothing, utensils, etc.);
  • avoid any activities in which uncovered lesions might be in contact with the skin or mucous membranes of another person, or with objects or surfaces that other people might touch;
  • adopt general hygiene measures: wash their hands regularly and cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing;
  • inform sexual partners and other people with whom they have been in contact since the onset of symptoms.(See the section Post- exposure to learn about the types of high-risk contacts).

These measures must be followed until the scabs covering the skin lesions have fallen off and a layer of healthy skin has formed or following the doctor’s recommendations if another diagnosis is made.

As a precaution, infected people should avoid contact with animals since the virus could be transmitted between humans and certain animals.

Transmission

Monkeypox is spread through, prolonged close contact. It can spread as soon as symptoms appear, until the scabs covering the skin lesions have fallen off and a layer of healthy skin has formed. The incubation period is usually short (5 to 7 days), but can last up to 21 days.

In most cases, the illness goes away on its own within 2 to 4 weeks. In very rare cases, serious complications can occur, however.

Vaccination

In Québec, a vaccine is available to combat the monkeypox.

This vaccine can be administered before or after exposure to the disease.

It is reserved for the people targeted by public health authorities.

Make an appointment

Your health and social services institution may not offer online appointment booking. For more information on vaccination or to obtain the contact information for your institution, consult their website.

Post-exposure

Two doses of the monkeypox vaccine is recommended at an interval of four weeks if, within the past 14 days, you have had:

  • direct contact with the skin, lesions or body fluids of a person with monkeypox symptoms;
  • direct contact with items (such as clothing, bedding, sex toys) potentially contaminated by the body fluids or secretions of a person with monkeypox symptoms;
  • prolonged close contact with a person with monkeypox symptoms (3 or more hours less than 1 metre away, face to face, without having worn a medical-grade mask).

In the event that a person has symptoms consistent with monkeypox at the time of vaccination, the vaccine may not be administered.

Pre-exposure

It is recommended two doses of vaccine, at an interval of four weeks, if you are a man (cis or trans), a GBTQ or non-binary person who has or will have sexual contact with a man (cis or trans), in one of the following situations:

  • this sexual contact is not with one regular sexual partner;
  • this sexual contact occurs in a place or at an event where sexual activities take place;
  • this sexual contact is in exchange for money, goods or services.

A cis (for cisgender) man refers to a man who was assigned the male sex at birth; a trans man is a man who was assigned the female sex at birth.

Moreover, it is recommended that staff and volunteers who work in social settings or at events where sexual activities between men (cis or trans) may take place to receive two doses of monkeypox vaccine.

It is recommended that sex workers receive two doses of the monkeypox vaccine.

Last update: November 2, 2022

Notice

Information on the website in no way replaces the opinion of a health professional. If you have questions concerning your health status, consult a professional.

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