Canada confirms 15 cases of monkeypox

The first-ever cases of the viral disease in Canada, usually found in the Congo Basin in Africa, were reported last week. A small shipment of the vaccine Imvavune is being sent to Quebec to deal with the outbreak there
A Test tubes labelled ‘Monkeypox virus positive’ is seen in this illustration taken on May 23. (REUTERS)
A Test tubes labelled ‘Monkeypox virus positive’ is seen in this illustration taken on May 23. (REUTERS)
Updated on May 25, 2022 01:16 PM IST
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TORONTO: Canadian health authorities have confirmed 15 cases of monkeypox in the country, and with more samples arriving for laboratory tests, that number is likely to rise.

On Tuesday, Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos said, in a statement, that the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has confirmed 10 more cases of monkeypox in the province of Quebec, bringing the total cases in Canada to 15. “More samples from other jurisdictions in Canada are on the way to PHAC’s National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg for confirmatory testing and we expect more cases to be confirmed in the coming days,” he added.

The first-ever cases of the viral disease in Canada, usually found in the Congo Basin in Africa, were reported last week.

A small shipment of the vaccine Imvavune is being sent to Quebec to deal with the outbreak there.

He stressed this was “a different situation” than what was experienced with the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. “While global understanding of the monkeypox virus is still evolving, we do have a supply of vaccines, which we will be sure to maintain, and we are working hand-in-hand with our provincial and territorial counterparts to rollout our response plan as quickly as possible,” Duclos said.

He pointed out that public health measures that was useful in countering the coronavirus like physical distancing, handwashing, and respiratory etiquette such as wearing masks can help “reduce” the “risk” of contracting monkeypox.

In a statement issued on Thursday, when the first two cases were identified, PHAC said the mode of transmission “is through close contact with an infected individual, such as through direct contact with their body fluids, respiratory droplets, or monkeypox sores, or by sharing clothing, bedding or common items that have been contaminated with the infected person’s fluids or sores”.

Signs and symptoms of monkeypox may typically include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes, and a rash that often appears within a few days after symptoms such as fever develop.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Anirudh Bhattacharya is a Toronto-based commentator on North American issues, and an author. He has also worked as a journalist in New Delhi and New York spanning print, television and digital media. He tweets as @anirudhb.

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