File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / jbruizFile photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / jbruiz

Windsor-Essex confirms first case of monkeypox

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has announced its first lab-confirmed case of monkeypox.

The health unit reported the first confirmed case on Wednesday afternoon. Due to client privacy and confidentiality, health officials will not provide details on the patient's identity.

A monkeypox outbreak has been reported in multiple countries, including Canada, and a handful of cases have already been confirmed in Ontario. However, Windsor-Essex Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Shanker Nesathurai said there is no cause for significant alarm.

"At this time, the risk of monkeypox transmission in the community remains low," said Nesathurai. "Although cases have mostly been identified among males who report sexual or intimate contact with other males, anyone can get monkeypox. The most commonly reported risk factors include engaging in sexual or intimate contact with new and-or more than one partner."

The disease is a virus that is in the same family as smallpox and is usually transmitted through close contact with the bodily fluids, rashes, and scabs of an infected person or animal. The health unit says symptoms include fever, body aches, headache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, fatigue, and the development of a rash.

Incubation time is roughly between seven and 14 days, reported the health unit. While it can affect people of all ages, and most of the confirmed cases have involved males who have had sexual contact with other males, those most at risk include children, pregnant women, and those who are immunocompromised.

The health unit said that if a patient is experiencing symptoms, they should contact their primary care provider as soon as possible.

Further information about monkeypox can be found on the official health unit website.

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