Mpox (formerly known as monkeypox)​

The Brant County Health Unit offers MPOX vaccination. Get two doses of the MPOX vaccine for the best protection. Eligible individuals can call 519-753-4937, ext. 471 to book an appointment. No Ontario Health Card is required.

If you have signs and symptoms of MPOX infection, please do NOT attend your appointment.

MPOX Update

On May 11, 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an end of MPOX as a global health emergency. However, MPOX continues to circulate in Ontario as well as in Canada, United States, and other countries. Anyone who has been in close, personal contact with someone who has MPOX can get MPOX. But, currently in Ontario over 99% of MPOX cases identify as male and have sexual partners

MPOX is a rare disease caused by the MPXV virus. It is part of the same family as smallpox, though typically less severe. Until recently, MPOX was found mostly in areas of Africa but since May 2022, it has been seen in other areas of the world, including Canada. MPOX causes flu-like symptoms such as fever and chills, and a rash develops within a few days. There is no proven treatment but it usually goes away on its own; however, severe cases resulting in death can occur.

People typically develop symptoms five to 21 days after being exposed to the MPXV virus. Symptoms occur in two stages and typically last from two to four weeks.

In stage one, symptoms may include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • joint pain
  • back pain
  • exhaustion

In stage two of the illness:

A rash develops – usually within one to three days (sometimes longer) after the fever starts. The rash often starts on the face or extremities, however it can affect other parts of the body, such as the hands, feet, mouth, and genitals. The rash can last between 14 and 21 days and changes through different stages before finally forming a scab which later falls off.

MPOX typically spreads from a person with the virus to others through:

  • Direct close contact (skin-to-skin) with skin lesion or scabs, particularly through sexual or intimate contact.
  • Contact with objects, clothing, or linens (dishes, bedding, and towels) used by an infected person.
  • Respiratory transmission from an individual with MPOX (requiring prolonged face-to-face contact).

The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if not visible), the respiratory tract or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).

If you have symptoms of MPOX, and/or are a close contact of someone who has confirmed MPOX, contact a health care provider. Limit your contact with others and self-isolate.

You can get tested for MPOX at your healthcare provider’s office or walk-in clinic. Call in advance to explain your symptoms prior to your appointment so infection control measures can be put in place to prevent others from being infected.

People who have been in contact with a person who has MPOX may be recommended to get post-exposure vaccination. They should monitor themselves for symptoms, and avoid sexual contact with others, for 21 days. If no symptoms appear they can continue with normal activities. If symptoms develop, they should self-isolate and contact a healthcare provider.

There are no treatments specifically for MPOX. Treatment is mainly supportive symptom management, and most people will recover without treatment. In more severe cases, antiviral drugs developed to treat smallpox may be prescribed.

  • Get vaccinated if eligible.
  • Use condoms and practice safe sex including having fewer sexual partners, particularly those who are anonymous, even when they don’t have symptoms.
  • Avoid close physical contact, including sexual contact, with someone who has or may have been exposed to the virus.
  • Avoid skin to skin contact with MPOX rashes or lesions.
  • Avoid sharing objects such as toothbrushes, utensils, sex toys or drug equipment.
  • Avoid touching bedding and laundry that has been in contact with someone who has MPOX.
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces (such as door handles and phones).
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE), including disposable gloves and mask when caring for someone at home who has the virus.
  • Clean your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

The Imvamune® vaccine is approved in Canada for protection against MPOX. The vaccine contains weakened virus and cannot make you sick. The vaccine can be used for protection against MPOX before getting exposed to the virus (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis – PrEP) or after being exposed (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis – PEP). If someone is at risk for MPOX, they should complete a full vaccine series of two doses at least 28 days apart. After getting the vaccine, it takes two weeks to build protection. During these two weeks, consider reducing your number of close contacts, including sex partners. Imvamune® is not used as a treatment if you already have MPOX.

Based on Ontario Ministry of Health’s guidelines, persons who qualify for pre-exposure vaccination at this time are:

(A) Two-spirit, non-binary, trans- or cis-gender, intersex, or gender-queer individuals who self-identify or have sexual partners who self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual, pansexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) community AND at least one of the following:

  • Had a confirmed sexually transmitted infection within the last year
  • Have or are planning to have two or more sexual partners or are in a relationship where at least one of the partners may have other sexual partners,
  • Have attended venues for sexual contact (e.g. bath houses, sex clubs) recently or may be planning to, or who work/volunteer in these settings; or
  • Have had anonymous sex (e.g. using hookup apps) recently or may be planning to; and/or
  • Are a sexual contact of an individual who engages in sex work.

(B) Individuals who self-identify as engaging in sex work or are planning to, regardless of self-identified sex or gender.

Household and/or sexual contacts of those identified for pre-exposure vaccination eligibility above AND who are moderately to severely immunocompromised (see Appendix A from the Ontario Ministry of Health’s MPOX Vaccine Guidance for Health Care Providers) or pregnant may be at higher risk for severe illness from a mpox infection may be considered for pre-exposure vaccine and should contact their healthcare provider (or their local public health unit) for more information.

Anyone who self-identifies as a high-risk contact of a confirmed or probable case of MPOX should contact their local public health unit to find out if post-exposure vaccination is recommended.

The first dose should be offered within 4 days (up to 14 days) from the date of the last exposure to individuals who are a high-risk contact of a confirmed or probable case of MPOX. The second dose should be offered at least 28 days after the first dose.

Get two doses of the MPOX vaccine for the best protection. The Bant County Health Unit offers MPOX vaccination. Eligible individuals can call 519-753-4937, ext. 471 to book an appointment. No Ontario Health Card is required.

If you have signs and symptoms of MPOX infection, please do NOT attend your appointment.