At a news conference on Friday, Canada’s public health director, Dr. Theresa Tam, said that
a few dozen cases potential monkeypox was currently being investigated in Canada.
These cases are primarily from Quebec, but several contacts in British Columbia are also being closely monitored.
Additionally, Canadians should expect to see more cases of monkeypox in the coming days, Dr. Tam warned.
Characterized by fever, headaches, but especially by the appearance of pustules on the body, monkeypox can be contracted by an exchange of body fluids or by the absorption of droplets. Present in 11 African countries, where it is endemic, the disease usually heals itself.
Currently, all cases of this disease are validated at the National Microbiology Laboratory, located in Winnipeg. However, discussions are underway with other laboratories to increase the country’s diagnostic capacity, said Dr. Tam.
We really don’t know the extent of the spread that has occurred in Canada.admitted the chief of public health.
What we do know, however, is that few of these people are linked to trips to Africa.
Dr. Tam assesses that at this point the overall risk to the population is
weak. Nonetheless, researchers are hard at work determining why monkeypox appears to be in circulation here in Canada and in other parts of the Western world, which they say it is at least.
The first two Canadian cases of monkeypox (monkey pox, in English) were confirmed Thursday by Quebec. Three others have since been added, the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) said on Twitter late Friday.
Radio-Canada had revealed for the first time on Wednesday that 13 potential cases of monkeypox were being examined in Montreal and that all the patients in question had been treated at L’Actuel, L’Agora and La Licorne, three medical clinics where sexually transmitted and blood. sexually transmitted infections (STBBI) are diagnosed.
A limited stock of vaccines.
On the other hand, the classical smallpox vaccine is known to show a fairly high rate of effectiveness against monkeypox. That is why some Western countries where the disease has been detected have started stockpiling.
Asked about the status of stocks in Canada, Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy director of public health, explained that, for the foreseeable future, the country only has a limited number of doses, having stopped smallpox vaccination in 1971.
Smallpox has been eradicated since 1980, he recalled [mais] there may still be samples in laboratories that could one day cause a smallpox-related epidemiological event. This is why several countries, including Canada, have a certain number of doses of vaccines against this disease.
” At the moment, we have a few doses. [en banque] and we are always ready. We are discussing with Quebec for a possible use. »
However, it is impossible to know the number of doses that the country has, the information is protected by a security issue, said Dr. Tam.
Recalling that the smallpox vaccine was not originally designed against monkeypox, Dr. Njoo cautioned that efforts will be needed in Canada and other parts of the world to update guidelines for the use of this vaccine against a different disease. to which it was designed. designed.
Globally, 80 confirmed cases and around 50 suspected cases have been identified so far by the World Health Organization (WHO), which organized an emergency meeting to take stock of this disease on Friday.
Although monkeypox can be very troublesome, it has so far caused no casualties. The analyzes carried out suggest that the cases reported so far all correspond to a fairly benign strain of the virus, whose mortality rate is around 1%.
Most cases have occurred in men who have sex with men. In addition, a sauna in Madrid, suspected of being a source of infection, was forced to close its doors, local health authorities confirmed to AFP on Friday night.
In a statement issued Friday, theWHO
can be an obstacle to the end of an epidemicbecause he can
deter people from seeking care and lead to undetected spread.
In addition to Canada and Spain, nine other countries have reported confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox: the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, the United States, and Australia.
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