Toronto Public Health Urges Vigilance as Mpox Cases Surge in the City

Monkeypox Vaccine

Toronto ON – Toronto Public Health (TPH) has issued a stark warning to city residents as cases of mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, surge in the metropolitan area. Confirming 21 cases of the virus since the beginning of the year, TPH highlights a concerning uptick compared to the 27 cases reported throughout the entirety of 2023.

Mpox, a highly contagious virus, spreads through various means including contact with infected lesions, body fluids, respiratory secretions, contaminated materials, and animal bites or scratches. Symptoms typically include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, swollen lymph nodes, followed by a rash or blisters, particularly around the genitals.

Of particular concern is the fact that mpox is predominantly spreading through close or sexual contact, with gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men being the most affected demographic. This underscores the urgent need for heightened vigilance and preventive measures within these communities.

Dr. Eileen de Villa, the Medical Officer of Health, stressed the importance of vaccination in combating the spread of mpox. “Amidst increased cases of mpox in Toronto, it’s important to recognize that cases are predominantly non-travel-related, emphasizing the importance of vaccination,” Dr. de Villa stated. “Completing the two-dose vaccination series provides the best protection against mpox and helps reduce serious symptoms.”

Devan Nambiar from the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the need for members of the LGBTQ+ community to prioritize vaccination. “We want to remind cis and trans gay, bi, queer, and all men who have sex with men, to get their first and second dose of the mpox vaccine,” Nambiar stated. “Mpox has not been entirely eradicated, and we want you to take care of yourself and protect your sexual partners.”

The surge in mpox cases in Toronto is not significantly linked to travel, indicating local community transmission. TPH advises individuals planning to travel to get vaccinated before departure to mitigate the risk of contracting and spreading the virus.

The mpox vaccine is freely available to eligible residents, and an OHIP card is not required. Residents are encouraged to inquire about vaccine availability at their sexual health care providers.

Toronto residents are urged to remain vigilant and take proactive steps to protect themselves and their communities against mpox. For more information, including eligibility requirements for vaccination, residents can visit the City’s mpox webpage at

As the city grapples with this surge in cases, public health officials stress the importance of collective action and adherence to preventive measures to curb the spread of mpox and safeguard public health in Toronto.

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