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Monkeypox is transmitted mainly through direct contact with skin lesions, but the current outbreak is following patterns similar to STIs. (NIAID, cropped from original)

Treating monkeypox like an STI may help control the outbreak, but stigma is a danger

Monkeypox is not considered an STI but is spreading among sexual partners. Adding sexual health strategies to the public health response is helpful, but there is a danger of stigmatizing MPXV.
A health-care provider administers monkeypox vaccine at an outdoor walk-in clinic in Montréal, on July 23, 2022. It is crucial that people who have been exposed to monkeypox get vaccinated if they do not yet have symptoms, or isolate if they do have symptoms. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Controlling monkeypox: The time for Canada to act is now

To control monkeypox, there is a short window — weeks, not months — in which to vaccinate the most susceptible and to encourage and support self-isolation for those who have symptoms.
COVID-19 will not be the last infectious disease event of our time. We need to prepare for the next challenge with evidence and knowledge. (Shutterstock)

Future infectious diseases: Recent history shows we can never again be complacent about pathogens

Before COVID-19, clean water, antibiotics and vaccines had made us complacent about infectious disease. Infection control can no longer be taken for granted. We must be prepared for future pandemics.
One child in three is physically or sexually abused or witnesses violence between adults in their home. Other adversities including emotional neglect, living in an unsafe neighbourhood or experiencing prejudice and bullying are even more common. (iStock)

Childhood adversity is a ‘cause of causes’ of adult illnesses and mental health problems

One in three children experiences abuse or neglect. These adverse events increase lifelong risks for chronic diseases and mental health issues, creating a public health hazard hiding in plain sight.

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