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The chief medical officer said monkeypox activity in Ontario peaked in JulyFGN News

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TORONTO – Ontario’s chief medical officer of health said monkeypox activity in the province has peaked.

Dr. Kieran Moore says the county peaked in the total number of active cases in the week of July 15, when roughly 16 to 18 cases were identified per day with PCR testing, while that is now down to just about one a day.

Moore says most of these new cases are related to travel, particularly from US hotspots, rather than people who contract the infection within Ontario.

He says Ontario has vaccinated 32,175 people against monkeypox, and is waiting for the National Advisory Committee on Immunization to provide guidance on whether and how to start a second dose strategy.

As of this week, there are 656 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Ontario.

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Monkeypox spreads when people have close physical contact with the infected person’s lesions, their clothes, or bed sheets, and symptoms can include rashes, swollen lymph nodes, and fever.

Moore said the progress Ontario has made is impressive, and the province has seen an absolute plateau.

“For me, the stakes have been greatly reduced in Ontario,” he said in an interview.

Public Health Ontario, in its latest report released on Wednesday, said there were 656 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the province as of the previous day, an increase of 25 cases from the previous week.

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The agency said 484 of the confirmed cases, or about 74 percent, were in Toronto, and all but five were reported among males. The average age of all confirmed cases in the county is about 36, and confirmed cases range in age from under 20 to 74.

Public Health says 19 people have been hospitalized with illness in the county and two are in intensive care.

There are also 10 possible cases in Ontario.

Local public health units and coalitions across Ontario have set up vaccination clinics over the past few months for those the province deemed to be at risk of developing monkeypox.

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Moore said he has a great appreciation for the work of the Gay Men Sexual Health Alliance, and for everyone who has been at risk who has been vaccinated or tested for symptoms.


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Monkeypox declining worldwide: WHO


Decreased number of monkeypox cases worldwide: WHO – 25 August 2022

“I think, in a remarkably short period of time, we’ve been able to reduce the spread of this virus in Ontario,” he said. “I can’t thank all of the participants (enough) because it has obviously been a success in Ontario.”

The county expanded eligibility for the monkeypox vaccine in August to include a wider segment of the LGBT community as well as sex workers.

Until then, the priority group for the vaccine had been gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men who meet certain criteria.

Some advocates have criticized the strategy for not including people experiencing homelessness, arguing that the population overlaps disproportionately with the LGBTQ community and sex workers.

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Public Health Ontario said most cases are among men who have reported intimate contact with the men, but it said anyone can get monkeypox.

Monkeypox comes from the same family of viruses that cause smallpox, which were declared worldwide eradicated by the World Health Organization in 1980. Smallpox vaccines have proven effective against monkeypox virus.

© 2022 Canadian Press

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