Featured Story banner - MPox

Since May 2022, numerous cases of MPox (previously known as monkeypox) have been reported from several countries where MPox is not endemic. The first confirmed case was reported in Canada in May 2022. On June 16, 2022, MPox was designated as a Disease of Public Health Significance (DOPHS) in Ontario, requiring reporting of cases directly to the local public health unit. In July 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global MPox outbreak, a public health emergency of international concern.

On July 18, 2022, the WECHU received the first confirmed case of MPox in WEC. In 2022, the WECHU investigated 33 reported MPox cases, 9 of which were confirmed. Case and contact management along with the administration of post-exposure prophylaxis vaccine took place for all 20 high-risk close contacts. MPox has mainly, but not exclusively, affected gay, bisexual, men who have sex with men (MSM), men who have more than one, new, and/or anonymous sexual partners; however, MPox can affect anyone.

In response to cases that have been identified locally, the WECHU offered vaccine against MPox to specific populations with the goal of limiting ongoing transmission, with a priority focus on communities at high risk of exposure and protecting vulnerable groups. The WECHU supported a comprehensive vaccine outreach strategy in 2022. The strategy focused on the accessibility of MPox vaccinations and raising awareness about MPox. Through various communication platforms and strategies, the WECHU provided accurate, timely, and reliable MPox information from the international, federal, provincial, and local level to the community.

The WECHU collaborated with the Windsor-Essex Pride Fest organization in providing vaccination clinics at the Pride Festival and WE Pride office, in addition to the clinics offered at the WECHU’s Windsor and Leamington offices with the support of the Windsor-Essex Ontario Health Team. MPox is still circulating in Ontario and the MPox vaccine continues to be available at the WECHU to eligible persons, as per the Ontario Ministry of Health guidelines.