Advocacy about MonkeyPox
ACNS is an active member of an ad hoc informal community coalition that is pushing for action by the NS government on Monkeypox, including scaling up access to vaccines. Click here to see the committee's open letter to the NS government.
What is MonkeyPox
Monkeypox (aka Mpox) is a relatively rare virus that's primarily spread through extended periods of close physical contact with someone who has it. It can also be transmitted by droplets of saliva and mucus from coughing, sneezing, or kissing. Anyone can have and transmit monkeypox. In Canada, a large number of cases are among men who have sex with men (MSM), and one reason for this could be that MSM are very active in taking care of their health and getting tested regularly, especially for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It's important for everyone to be aware of their risks, symptoms, what can be done to help prevent it, and to stay up to date on new monkeypox information.
What to look for (signs and symptoms)
- fever or chills
- skin rash
- muscle aches or back pain
- swollen lymph nodes
- sores or blisters
Symptoms may appear 5-21 days after exposure and can last 2-4 weeks. Mpox symptoms can also resemble signs of some STIs like syphilis and herpes. Mpox is not as severe as smallpox, however, if you develop a fever and then a rash it's recommended that you seek medical attention.
Monkeypox and HIV
Mpox doesn't appear to be any more severe in people living with HIV, especially people on effective treatment with a suppressed viral load.
Prevention and Treatment
Some ways to prevent Mpox is by washing your hands, wearing a mask, covering coughs/sneezes, and limiting sex partners. If you have a sore or blister and suspect Mpox, isolate from others. Cover the sore up with a large band aid if you must be in contact with other people or do have sex. Virtual sex with no in-person contact can be a good alternative while you heal. Talk to your partner(s) about any recent symptoms or unexplained sores or rashes. If possible, exchanging contact information with sexual partners can help reduce or prevent the spread of Mpox.
The same vaccine for smallpox is effective against Mpox and may be given by a public health or health care worker. If you think you were exposed to Mpox or suspect you have it, please contact your health care provider or local public health department as soon as possible
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For info about Mpox vaccines in NS (and other Mpox details) go to https://novascotia.ca/monkeypox
Want to know more about Mpox? Check out our Mpox Fact Sheet here.