Last updated: December 2, 2022
MPOX (formerly known as monkeypox) is a rare viral illness that causes fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes and tiredness, followed by a rash on the skin. It is usually spread by very close contact with someone who has the virus.
Anyone can get MPOX. However, during the current outbreak, gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men have been impacted the most. At this time, MPOX has mostly spread between people who had close intimate/sexual contact with a person who has the virus. The virus also does not spread through casual contact.
MPOX typically spreads from a person with the virus to others through:
The virus enters the body through breaks in the skin or through the eyes and mouth.
Someone with MPOX can usually pass on the virus when they develop a skin rash or blisters, but it may also spread when they have early symptoms including fever and headache.
Symptoms usually start within six to 13 days after being exposed to MPOX, but can start anywhere from five to 21 days after exposure.
MPOX is diagnosed by a healthcare provider, based on symptoms and a laboratory test.
If you think you have MPOX, it is important to isolate right away and contact a health care provider. For more information on how to self-isolate, visit the MPOX: Self-Isolation Guidance page.
You can get tested for MPOX at a healthcare provider’s office, local walk-in clinic or sexual health clinics. Call in advance to make sure that MPOX testing is available. Please do not call or go to an emergency department for testing. Only go to the emergency department if you need emergency care.
The most accurate MPOX test is a swab of the fluid from bumps, blisters, sores or scabs. Throat and nose swabs, as well as a blood test are available but less accurate. A health care provider will decide which test is recommended.
Toronto Public Health will contact and give guidance to people who test positive for MPOX as well as known close contacts of someone who tests positive.
People who have been in contact with a person who has MPOX should monitor themselves for symptoms for 21 days. If no symptoms appear you can continue with normal activities. If symptoms develop, you should isolate and contact a healthcare provider.
Most people recover from MPOX on their own within 2 to 4 weeks. However, some people can get seriously sick. Most people do not require treatment for MPOX.
The Imvamune® vaccine is approved in Canada for protection against MPOX. The vaccine:
*The second vaccine dose is a full dose exactly like the first.
The vaccine may cause some side effects. Most are mild to moderate, and do not last longer than 7 days. Common side effects include:
Individuals who are allergic or hypersensitive to any vaccine ingredient should speak with a healthcare provider before getting the vaccine. Learn more about the list of vaccine ingredients.
Imvamune may contain trace amounts of antibiotics (gentamicin and ciprofloxacin) and egg products. People with known hypersensitivity to these products are still able to safely get the vaccine, but should be monitored for an extra 15 minutes (30 minutes total) after getting vaccinated.
Contact a health care provider or go to the nearest emergency department if you have any of these symptoms after getting the vaccine:
An AEFI is any time you feel unwell more than what you were told to expect after getting a vaccine. If you think you are experiencing an AEFI, contact a health care provider.
Your health care provider will report the AEFI to Toronto Public Health (TPH). TPH will help the health care provider investigate if your illness was caused by the vaccine. TPH reports AEFIs to the Ontario Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario, and the Public Health Agency of Canada to make sure that vaccines continue to be safe. Companies that make vaccines do not help investigate AEFIs.
Toronto Public Health continues to follow federal and provincial guidance on the administration of Imvamune vaccines to protect at-risk populations against the MPOX virus.
Based on Ontario Ministry of Health guidelines, two vaccine doses, given at least 28 days apart, are available to eligible groups.
a. Two-Spirit, non-binary, transgender, cisgender, 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:
b. Individuals who self-identify as engaging in sex work or are planning to, regardless of self-identified sex or gender.
c. Research laboratory employees working directly with replicating orthopoxviruses.
Household and/or sexual contacts of people who are eligible for Pre-Exposure Vaccination listed above in parts (a) or (b) above AND who are moderately or severely immunocompromised (have a weak immune system) or are pregnant may be at risk for severe illness from a MPOX infection. These individuals may be considered for Pre-Exposure Vaccination, and should contact a healthcare provider or Toronto Public Health for more information.
Contact a healthcare provider or Toronto Public Health to find out if you are eligible for vaccination. The vaccine is free and available to all eligible people. No ID or OHIP required. Appointments are needed for City-run Immunization Clinics.
Wait to get vaccinated if you have any COVID-19 symptoms and/or you are required to self-isolate.
If you think you have MPOX, isolate right away and contact a health care provider. Do not visit any MPOX vaccination clinics.
The vaccine is not used as a treatment if you already have MPOX. At this time, people who have or have had MPOX are not eligible for the vaccine because they have immunity from the infection.
Right now, we don’t have information about getting Imvamune at the same time as other vaccines. It is recommended:
Toronto Public Health (TPH) and community partners will be hosting the following MPOX vaccination clinics for eligible groups.
People who meet the provincial criteria for vaccination to prevent MPOX infection can book an appointment at any one of our six City-run clinics through the TPH Booking System. Our City-run clinics are operating by appointment only for the MPOX vaccine. An OHIP card is not required. The vaccine is free and available to all eligible people.
Day(s) and Hours of Operation: To be announced.
Address: 519 Church St., Toronto
The following community clinics are available by appointment only. Please call or email the clinic you wish to visit directly to book your appointment.
Day(s) and Hours of Operation:
Address: 27 Roncesvalles Avenue – Suite 505, Toronto.
To book an appointment please call: (647) 657-4033.
Visit the Safer Six website for more information.
Day(s) and Hours of Operation: Mondays to Fridays, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Address: 34 Wellesley Street E, first floor
To book an appointment please email Mia Biondi, NP-PHC at email@example.com.
All City-run clinics are able to offer accommodation.
Each City-run clinic has parking near the entrance, ramps, elevators, and wheelchairs. Staff are also on site at each clinic to support if required. Clients who need a care provider or service animal with them will be accommodated. There are also privacy rooms available upon request. If you require an accommodation, alert a staff member upon arrival or at any time while at the clinic.
You may request an accommodation ahead of attending a City-run clinic. You will be asked the date and time when you plan to access your vaccination dose and a public health nurse will contact you within two business days to confirm the details of your request.
Examples of accommodations we can provide include:
If you require assistance filling out the survey or requesting accommodation, please call Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 (TTY: 416-392-0658).
To view the latest data on MPOX in Toronto, visit Public Health Ontario’s MPOX webpage.
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