Suspected monkeypox cases in BC, says Canada’s public health director

Canada’s director of public health says there are now just under two dozen cases of monkeypox in Canada and there are a few suspected cases in BC, but they have not been confirmed at this time.

Dr. Theresa Tam said Friday that “people under investigation by local authorities are following up in Quebec, but also in British Columbia.”

So far, only two cases have been confirmed in Quebec, which are the first cases in Canada.

The BC Center for Disease Control said BC is working closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada and that public health will follow up with anyone known to have been exposed to monkeypox.

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“A communication has been sent to regional health authorities and medical microbiologists on monkeypox with information on symptoms, laboratory tests and diagnosis, infection control precautions, treatment and notification/reporting requirements,” the organization said in a statement. release. “Physicians are requested to notify their regional health authority and local microbiologist of any potential cases.”


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Monkeypox is a zoonotic infectious disease that causes occasional human infections, usually associated with exposure to infected animals or contaminated materials, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

“Limited cases have been identified in other regions in the past, including the UK, US, Israel and Singapore, but never before in Canada,” the agency said.

While person-to-person spread of monkeypox is rare, close contact with an infected person through bodily fluids, skin lesions such as blisters, and/or respiratory droplets can transmit the virus, PHAC said.

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Sharing clothing, bedding, or common items that have been contaminated with the infected person’s fluids or sores can also spread the virus.

On Wednesday, the US confirmed its first case of monkeypox this year in a man who recently traveled to Canada.

Health officials in European countries where monkeypox cases have been found this month said most cases were men who have sex with men.


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Tam said Friday that there could be more cases announced in the coming days as testing is still underway.

“There are samples in the process of being processed at the National Microbiology Laboratory as we speak, so we can expect to hear more confirmations in the coming hours and days,” Tam told reporters during a press conference on Friday.

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—with files from Saba Aziz

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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