Toronto Public Health on Saturday hosted two vaccine clinics for those most at risk for the monkeypox virus.
The health unit said the community center clinics at 519 Church Street and Metro Hall are for adults who identify as men and have sex with other men.
Smallpox is a rare disease that originates from the same family of viruses that cause smallpox, which the World Health Organization declared eradicated worldwide in 1980, but is generally not easily spread among humans. and is transmitted through prolonged close contact.
“We’re trying to avoid stigmatizing gay men,” Rita Shahin, an associate physician in Toronto, told CBC News.
“The monkey’s smallpox is transmitted by close person-to-person contact, so skin-to-skin or face-to-face contact, and anyone could be at risk. It just so happens that the first cases we’re seeing in the community have been [among] gay men “.
Toronto Public Health says the virus is not as transmissible as COVID-19.
The health unit says symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, swollen lymph nodes and a rash that “often appears within a few days” after the onset of symptoms.
Photos taken in clinical settings show monkeypox lesions in patients in the UK, during a global outbreak of cases beyond the typical endemic regions of the virus in Africa. (UK Health Agency)
On Friday, Toronto confirmed 26 cases of monkeypox out of a total of 30 across the province. All confirmed cases in Ontario have been found in men, according to Public Health Ontario, with cases ranging from 25 to 59 years.
Vernon Finney was one of the people who lined up for the vaccine on Saturday in 519.
“I’m just being cautious, with the arrival of Pride, I just want to make sure I’m safe before the weekend,” Finney said.
“There will be a lot of parties and a lot of people around, so I think it’s important to get vaccinated first.”
Andrew Schmitt, at the same clinic, also said he wanted to be wrong on the side of caution.
“We just want to be prepared for what is to come [virus]said Schmitt.
“We’ve been marked by COVID and obviously we’ve learned our lesson, so we’re just trying to be more proactive about it.”