Posted Friday May 20, 2022

Posted By: Michelle Goulet

Category: General

To: All Physicians, ERs, CHCs, Walk-in Clinics, Travel Clinics
Date: May 20, 2022
From: Dr. Monir Taha, Associate Medical Officer of Health

Dear Colleagues:

At the time of writing, there have not been any cases of monkeypox reported to Ottawa Public Health (OPH); however, local cases would not be unexpected. The Ministry of Health and Public Health Ontario (PHO) are preparing Ontario-specific guidance. Until this is available, OPH suggests the following. 

The US CDC provides comprehensive information and guidance on monkeypox for the public and professionals at Standard, contact, and droplet precautions are recommended. 

OPH suggests, as an interim step with initial cases, clinicians consult an ID specialist for support on patient testing and management. Suspected cases should not use public transport.

OPH will undertake the necessary contact tracing/management and the provision of guidance to the patient for home isolation. Please report suspected cases to Ottawa
Public Health by using one of our reporting options available:

  • Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm: Call the Infectious Disease Program at 613-580-2424, extension 24224, complete an online reporting form, or fax a completed reporting form to 613-580-9640
  • For after hours, on weekends, or holidays: Call 3-1-1 and ask to speak to the CD manager on-call

EORLA has provided the following information to ID departments. As noted above, OPH recommends testing be done in consultation with an ID specialist. 

Request for Monkey Pox testing:

Prior to collecting samples, contact the on call PHOL Microbiologist for approval by calling PHOL customer service at 1-877-543-8931. Include the name of the PHOL Microbiologist on the PHOL general requisition. Please inform by email the EORLA Microbiologist to facilitate processing and follow-up.

Specimen types:

Acceptable samples for testing include: 

  • Serum (SST)
  • Tissue, fluid, scab, skin material, CSF collected in sterile container.
  • Swabs of lesions, fluid or Nasopharyngeal collected and transported in UTM/VTM (pink media).

If other routine microbiology testing is requested to rule out other pathogens, additional samples are to be collected as appropriate, ordered and sent to Micro separately.

Ordering in EPIC:

Miscellaneous Microbiology test and in order notes indicate that the sample is to be referred for Pox virus testing. Fill out the PHOL general requisition, include the clinical information and the name of the on-call Microbiologist consulted.

Additional information is available on the PHOL website (Poxvirus - Skin | Public Health Ontario).

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