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Last updated:  June 21, 2023

What is Mpox?
Common Symptoms
Is There a Vaccine?
Mpox Vaccine Clinic
How can I Reduce the Risk of Getting Mpox?
More Information

What is Mpox?

Mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) is a virus that is spread by close and prolonged contact with a person or animal that has mpox, or with contaminated materials (e.g. clothing, bedding). Mpox is similar to smallpox, but is less contagious and typically has less severe symptoms. Currently, there is no specific treatment plan for mpox. However, treatments are used to manage symptoms. Treatment is generally supportive and mild infections typically self-resolve within 2-4 weeks.

Common Symptoms

Mpox symptoms typically appear within five days of exposure, but can take up to 21 days. Symptoms include:

  • A rash or blisters (lesions)*
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever and chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Exhaustion

*Lesions typically appear inside the mouth, on the face, on the palms of the hands, on the soles of the feet, and/or around the genitals or anus. Photos of examples of lesions can be found here. Please be advised this content is graphic.

More severe symptoms are possible but are less common. There is an increased risk for more severe symptoms among newborns, pregnant woman, children under 12, and individuals who are immunocompromised.

What should I do if I have symptoms?

What should I do if I have a confirmed case of mpox?

  • Follow the guidance provided upon diagnosis
  • Self-isolate until lesions clear up (usually 2-4 weeks)
  • Cover lesions with a bandage if in contact with others
  • Wear a mask if in close contact with others
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and materials

What should I do if I am a close contact to a confirmed or probable case of mpox?

Peterborough Public Health will notify known close contacts of a confirmed or probable case of mpox. If you think you might be a close contact, call your Health Care Provider or Peterborough Public Health to report your status.

If you are a close contact and do not have symptoms:

  • Monitor for symptoms for 21 days
  • Limit contact with others
  • Wear a mask
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces and materials
  • Check eligibility for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)

if you are a close contact and have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and call your primary care provider, Peterborough Public Health, or Health Connect Ontario.

Click here for more guidance about what to do if you have symptoms, are a close contact, have pets, or are taking care of someone with mpox.

Is there a vaccine?

The smallpox vaccine (Imvamune) may prevent infection or prevent the development of severe symptoms. Imvamune 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).

Information Sheet IMVAMUNE® (Mpox) Vaccine

Based on Ontario Ministry of Health Guidelines, the vaccine is available for the following eligible groups:

For the Purposes of Pre-Exposure Vaccination:

a) Two-spirit, non-binary, transgender, cisgender, intersex, or gender-queer individuals (18+) 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 (i.e., bath houses, sex clubs) recently or may be planning to, or who work/volunteer in these settings
  • Have had anonymous sex (e.g., using hookup apps) recently or may be planning to
  • 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.

c) Household and/or sexual contacts of people who are eligible for pre-exposure vaccination– listed above in (a) and (b) AND who are moderately to severely immunocompromised or pregnant. These individuals should contact a Public Health Nurse at 705-743-1000, ext. 131 for more information.

For Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP):

  • People who have a known exposure/close contact with someone with mpox can get the vaccine. A risk assessment for contacts will be completed by Peterborough Public Health.
  • When the vaccine is used as PEP, it should be given within four days, but can be given up to 14 days after the last exposure.

Second Dose Eligibility 

Individuals who meet the Provincial eligibility criteria may receive two vaccine doses, at least 28 days apart.

Mpox Vaccine Clinic

Location:  Immunization Clinic, Peterborough Public Health.

Eligible residents, please use our online Appointment Booking System to request an appointment at our Routine Immunization Clinic or call (705) 743-1000, Ext. 331 and leave a voicemail with your request.  Voicemails will be monitored Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

PLEASE NOTE: walk-ins will not be accepted at this time.

How can I reduce the risk of getting mpox?

  • Practice good hand hygiene
  • Reduce or limit the number of people you have close contact with
  • Use barriers such as gloves, masks, condoms, and dental dams
  • Avoid sharing objects such as toothbrushes, eating utensils, sex toys, and drug use supplies
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and materials
  • Avoid touching bedding and laundry that has been in contact with someone who has monkeypox
  • Avoid touching skin lesions or rashes on another person
  • Stay home if you are sick and encourage others to do the same

For more information please visit: