By Laura Steiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Halton Region has its first case of the monkeypox virus. The patient is recovering at home. Medical officer of Health Dr. Hamdiah Meghani stressed the need for caution. “If you have symptoms of monkeypox, it is important to stay home and call your doctor to be assessed, she said.
Monkeypox is caused by a virus of the same name. Symptoms begin within 1-3 days of a fever, and include: headache, swollen lymph nodes, low energy and muscle aches. Lesions described as flat, or raised containing clear/ or yellowish fluid that can dry up and flake off like with chicken pox. It enters the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract, or mucous membranes (for example, mouth, nose, eyes). Symptoms last from 2-4 weeks, and often improve without treatment.
The virus can spread person-to-person by respiratory secretions, direct contact with skin lesions and/or contact with materials contaminated with the virus bedding or clothing). People are usually contagious up to five days before the onset of the rash. “When most people infected with monkeypox will have mild symptoms, some people such as children, pregnant women, and those with immunodeficiencies are a higher risk for severe disease,” Meghani added. The situation is being monitored by Halton Region Public Health. For more information visit their website.