A person who recently used Toronto’s shelter is isolating after testing positive for monkey pox, health officials have confirmed.
In an email to CP24.com, Toronto Public Health (TPH) said they are “currently aware of one confirmed case of monkeypox in a person who recently visited a Toronto shelter.”
The health unit declined to say which shelter was involved and also noted that an outbreak is defined as two or more cases that are epidemiologically linked.
On Sunday evening, the health unit was only aware of one confirmed case.
The affected person has been transferred to the city’s COVID-19 isolation and recovery site, which is also being used to help people who need to be isolated due to monkey pox.
“The City of Toronto continues to work with health experts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, monkeypox and other communicable diseases in high-risk environments,” TPH said in a statement. “To support shelters in reducing the number of cases, the shelter system continues to implement strict Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) measures. This includes implementing improved cleaning protocols and using personal protective equipment such as gloves, gowns and protective masks.”
The virus is usually spread through prolonged close contact with respiratory droplets from breathing, talking, coughing or sneezing or skin-to-skin contact with lesions, blisters, rashes, or contact with objects, substances, and surfaces used by someone who has the virus.
The virus can enter the body through breaks in the skin or through the eyes and mouth.
Someone with monkey pox can usually pass on the virus if they develop a skin rash or lesions, but it can also spread if they have early symptoms, including fever and headache.
Anyone can get the virus, but most cases so far have been in men who have sex with men.
Federal health officials, as well as the World Health Organization, have recently suggested that people consider limiting the number of sex partners they have given, because the virus appears to spread through intimate contact.
The city has set up vaccine clinics for the populations most at risk.
Public Health Ontario recorded 367 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the province as of Thursday, with nearly 78 percent of those cases in Toronto.
Toronto Public Health advises anyone who believes they have monkeypox to isolate themselves immediately and contact their healthcare provider to get tested.
-With files from The Canadian Press