Learn about the virus, how it spreads, and how we’re responding in Peel.
Monkeypox is a viral illness that causes fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes and tiredness, followed by a rash over a person’s body. It’s usually spread by very close contact with someone who has the virus.
How monkeypox spreads
How monkeypox spreads
- Prolonged close contact with respiratory droplets from breathing, talking, coughing, or sneezing.
- Through close, physical contact with someone who has monkeypox (especially from contact with the rash, bodily fluids, and/or scabs) like when hugging, having sex or providing care.
- Contact with objects, fabrics and surfaces used by someone who has the virus.
The virus enters the body through breaks in the skin or through the eyes and mouth or other mucus membranes.
Cases in Peel
For up to date information on cases in Ontario and in Peel refer to monkeypox in Ontario.
Symptoms usually start within 6 to 13 days after being exposed to monkeypox but can start anywhere from 5 to 21 days after exposure to the virus.
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Feeling extremely tired
- Rash with blisters that can appear 1 to 3 days after fever, but in some cases, can appear before fever or other symptoms. (Rash usually appears on the face or genitals first and then spreads to other areas). Rash may initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
Monkeypox may look like other infectious diseases, such as chickenpox, or several sexually transmitted infections including herpes and syphilis. It’s diagnosed by a health care provider, based on symptoms and a laboratory test from skin lesions, throat or blood.
How to prevent the spread
You can help stay safe and prevent the spread of monkeypox in the community by:
- Washing your hands often.
- Wearing a mask indoors when possible.
- Limiting close contacts, including sex partners.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched services often.
- Staying home if you have symptoms and talking to your health care provider.
- Getting vaccinated if eligible.
If you think you have monkeypox
If you have any symptoms of monkeypox, avoid close contact, including sex or being intimate with anyone, until you have been checked out by a health care provider.
If you’re diagnosed with monkeypox, public health will guide you on the duration of self-isolation and steps you need to take to reduce the risk to others.
If you’ve had contact with someone with monkeypox
If someone you had close physical contact with tells you they have monkeypox, you may be able to get the vaccine to prevent you from getting sick. Contact your health care provider or Peel Public Health to find out if you should receive the vaccine.
You should monitor yourself for symptoms for 21 days even if you’ve received the vaccine.
If symptoms develop you should self-isolate and contact your health care provider for testing.
Imvamune® vaccine is approved in Canada for protection against monkeypox. The vaccine can be used for protection against monkeypox before getting exposed to the virus (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) or after being exposed (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis).
In Ontario, most people will only receive 1 dose of the vaccine. If you are moderately or severely immunocompromised, your health care provider will tell you if you need a second dose. If you’ve already had monkeypox you will have natural immunity and do not need the vaccine.
Adults 18 years or older who meet eligibility criteria based on risk factors that put people at high risk are eligible for the vaccine. If you are under 18 and are at high risk you may still be eligible. Call Peel Public Health to check your eligibility.
The vaccine is available for two-spirited, non-binary, trans- or cis-gender individuals who self-identify or have sexual partners who self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) community AND at least 1 of the following:
- Had a sexually transmitted infection in the past 2 months, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis.
- Had 2 or more sexual partners or may be planning to.
- Attended a bath house, sex club or similar place for sexual contact or may be planning to, or who work or volunteer in these settings.
- Had anonymous sex, or may be planning to, including using online dating or hookup apps.
- Are a sexual contact of an individual who engages in sex work.
- Any individual who engages in sex work or may be planning to.
If you’re immunocompromised or pregnant, you may be at higher risk for severe illness from monkeypox. You should contact Peel Public Health to discuss getting the vaccine if you’re at risk of contracting monkeypox.
Individuals who have been in close contact with someone with monkeypox may be eligible for the vaccine. Contact Peel Public Health or your primary care provider to find out if you are eligible.
WellFort Community Health Services (until September 15)
7205 Goreway Drive, Mississauga
Four Corners location behind Westwood Square Mall
Call 905-451-4920 to book an appointment.
Peel Public Health Fairview clinic
325 Central Parkway West, Mississauga
September 16 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
September 23 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
October 7 from 1 to 4 p.m.
October 14 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Call 905-799-7700 to book an appointment.
Eligible individuals unable to get the vaccine from Wellfort clinic or any other clinics listed can call Peel Public Health for support to receive the vaccine.
Find additional clinics in the Greater Toronto Area.