How does monkeypox spread?
Monkeypox virus can spread when a person comes into contact with the virus from an infected animal, infected person, or materials contaminated with the virus.
Transmission occurs through direct contact with body fluids or sores on an infected person or with materials that have touched body fluids or sores, such as clothing or linens. People who might be at risk of contracting monkeypox are those who have had prolonged close contact or through the handling contaminated belongings of a person infected with the virus. House-hold members have been identified as being at greater risk of infection due to these factors. Monkeypox can be spread during sexual contact between people.
Can monkeypox be treated?
The illness is often mild and self-limiting, with symptoms usually resolving within a few weeks. Although rare, severe cases and death can occur. If you are feeling very unwell, you should contact a health care provider without delay.
How can monkeypox be prevented?
As with many other diseases monkeypox spreads through close contact. People can lower their risk by:
- Avoiding skin-to-skin or face-to-face contact including sexual contact with anyone who has symptoms or is a known case.
- Frequent hand washing and frequent cleaning of common surfaces and objects
- Wearing a mask if you are in close contact with someone with symptoms
- Getting assessed by a healthcare provider if you have symptoms that may be due to monkeypox
- Following Public health guidance if you are a suspected or known case or are a contact of a case.
How do I care for my pet/animals when I test positive for monkeypox or develop symptoms?
The monkeypox virus may spread from animals to people through the bite or scratch of an infected animal, by handling wild game, or through the use of products made from infected animals.
- Avoid contact with your pets and in particular pet rodents (e.g. mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs) for 21 days (or until all skin lesions have resolved).
If your pet becomes sick talk to your veterinarian.
What do I do if I think I have monkeypox?
If you develop symptoms and suspect you have monkeypox, contact 811 or a health care provider for advice, testing, and medical care. You should avoid close contact with others until you have been assessed and additional information is provided.
Until you see a healthcare provider:
- Avoid close, intimate contact and sex with others
- It is especially important to avoid close contact with people who may be at greater risk of experiencing severe illness including pregnant people, people with a weakened immune system or children.
- Do not share towels, clothing, sheets or other things that have touched your skin.
- Cover any sores or blisters as much as possible with clothing or bandages.
- Wear a mask when you are in close contact with others.
If you are confirmed or strongly suspected of having monkeypox, Public health will be contacting you to gather more information and provide you with guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your infection to others.
If you believe you are a close contact of someone who has been diagnosed with Monkeypox, call your local Public Health office for further advice and guidance. Find your local Public health clinic contact information here: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/ocmoh/healthy_people/content/public_health_clinics.html
What should I do when planning to travel?
Be aware of the monkeypox situation in the places you visit and take the same precautions you would use at home. Some people have been exposed or got monkeypox from close contact during sexual activity while travelling.
- Domestic travel:
o The Public Health Agency of Canada has information about the monkeypox outbreak in provinces and territories in Canada: Monkeypox: Outbreak update - Canada.ca
- International travel:
o The Government of Canada provides advice to travellers about monkeypox : Travel health notices
o The Centres for Disease Control maintains a map of the global monkeypox outbreak: 2022 Monkeypox Outbreak Global Map | Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC