Monkeypox in Ottawa: Watch out for the stigma, experts say

The Safe Drinking Coordinator for the WEAPONS Outaouais and sexologist Alexandre Albert noted that in BRAS, il y a plus d’inquiétude”,”text”:”les hommes qu’on rejoint au BRAS, il y a plus d’inquiétude”}}”>the men we join WEAPONSthere are more concerns.

They feel a bit helpless in the face of the situation because they don’t really know where to turn, the information is not very clear as to the route of transmissionhe said in an interview on the show here in the morningadding that some people may not know theirs Monkey Pox Status.

This combination of factors makes it difficult to adjust behaviors to avoid contracting the virus. To avoid stigma, there are many who hide a little more or try to change their behavior.

The Bureau régional d’action sida (BRAS) Outaouais says it sees more concerns related to monkeypox among the men reached by the organization (archives).

Photo: Radio Canada / Yasmine Mehdi

Alexandre Albert says it can also be harder to get that message of prevention across, especially to men who have sex with other men because it’s a community VIH“,”text”:”a été longuement stigmatisée par le VIH”}}”>has long been stigmatized by the HIV and the feels somewhat in the same situation with this new smallpox.

Unlike the crisis of HIV/AIDS, Alexandre Albert argues that in connection with the emergence of monkeypox, prevention methods and vaccination campaigns were introduced, some for close contacts and others for men having sex with other men.

We know the more we stigmatize, the fewer people will get tested, the fewer people will care about their health. We can put that in context and people can see it, especially when we list the risky behaviors, we realize it’s not just one group that’s going to have those behaviors, but not everyone is bad. »

A quote from Alexandre Albert, sexologist and coordinator of safe consumption for the WEAPONS Outaouais

This prevention and willingness to talk about monkeypox differs from the times of the HIV/AIDS, according to him, where we tried to hide it and where we tried to say “that only belongs to gay men”.

A virus that is not unknown

dr Hugues Loemba, who is a virologist, medical researcher, general practitioner and associate professor at the University of Ottawa, insists anyone can get infected by the virus that causes monkeypox.

It’s just a coincidence that men who have had sex with other men have contracted the disease. After all, anyone who is in close contact with an infected person can contract monkeypox.

Above all, we must avoid confusing things, because we saw that with the HIV. There was too much confusion. We’ve been pointing the finger at certain communities for nothing […]. Anyone can contract this disease. »

A quote from dr Hughes Loemba, virologist, medical researcher, general practitioner and associate professor at the University of Ottawa

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Human-to-human transmission of the monkeypox virus occurs through close contact with lesions, bodily fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials such as beddingis stated on one of their websites about it (New window) (external link).

The risk of contracting monkeypox is not limited to sexually active people or men who have sex with men. Anyone who has close physical contact with an infectious person is at risk of contracting the disease. »

A quote from Extract from the World Health Organization website

dr Loemba tells in an interview on the show The mornings here that the very first case was discovered in Denmark in 1958 in a laboratory monkey, but that the disease was discovered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970.

The symptoms of monkeypox are similar something about the symptoms of human smallpoxa disease eradicated in 1979, but it is much milder than smallpox and the disease is also less deadly as compared to human smallpox.

The virologist Hugues Loemba from the Hôpital Montfort in Ottawa (archive).

Photo: Photo provided by Dr. Hugues Loemba

For monkeypox, Dr. Loemba that the incubation period can be between one and three weeks. Two or three days after exposure to the virus, general symptoms could appear, including fever, swollen glands, muscle pain, and fatigue.

Then, towards the end of the first week and beginning of the second week, the infected person may have rashes consisting of pustules that begin to appear on the face, especially near the mouth, followed by itching, the pustules opening, the ulcerate and which will shed biological fluid.

Although physical contact with this biological fluid, with these rashes, or even with the bedding of an infected person can increase the risk of contracting the virus, according to Dr. Loemba can be contagious from the first few days.

Anyone who sees the appearance of pustules on their body should contact public health and see a doctor for a diagnosis, says Dr. Loemba. then we will do an epidemiological history to see if [la personne] been exposed to someone who had monkeypox.

In the event of a diagnosis of monkeypox in a person, We vaccinate the people in the area who were at high risk of infection as a preventive measure in the days following exposure to the virus, explains the virologist.

Leave a Comment