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Efforts Continue To Control Spread Of Monkeypox

By News Jul 28, 2022 | 7:21 AM

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, provides an update on the monkeypox virus on July 27, 2022. Image: CPAC video capture

Canada’s top doctor says an “urgent” response is required to control the spread of monkeypox.

The viral disease was recently declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization.

Dr. Theresa Tam said there have been more than 16,000 confirmed cases globally, including 745 in Canada.

That includes 346 cases in Quebec, 326 in Ontario, 58 in British Columbia, 12 in Alberta, two in Saskatchewan, and one in Yukon.

“Over 99 per cent are male, and the median age was 36 years,” Tam said during a news conference on Wednesday.

“In line with international trends, the majority of cases in Canada reported intimate or sexual contact with other men.”

Despite the high occurrence rate among men, Tam said monkeypox can spread to anyone through close contact or contaminated items.

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends practising safer sex and having fewer sexual partners to lower the risk of getting infected and spreading the virus, she said.

Meanwhile, Tam said efforts continue to control the spread of monkeypox across the country.

She said more than 70,000 doses of a vaccine have been distributed, but worldwide supplies are tight.

“We had already been stockpiling the vaccine for another purpose, so that’s how we were able to get ahead. For now, we’re OK, and we’re trying to estimate the size of the population and the potential vaccine coverage required,” said Tam.

The country’s top doctor encouraged those in high-risk categories to get vaccinated.

Symptoms of the virus are usually mild with a fever, headache, muscle aches, chills and exhaustion. Infected people will also develop a rash, typically on the face, before it spreads to other body parts.


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