The BC Centre for Disease Control has detected the province’s first case of monkeypox.
The case was confirmed on Monday after laboratory testing at the BC CDC, and the sample awaiting further testing at the National Microbiology Laboratory.
A case of monkeypox has been confirmed in B.C. through laboratory testing at the BC Centre for Disease Control and awaiting confirmation at the National Microbiology Laboratory. Vancouver Coastal Health is conducting public health follow-up.
— BC Centre for Disease Control (@CDCofBC) June 6, 2022
The infected individual lives in Vancouver, and the local health authority is conducting public health follow-up, the CDC said in a news release.
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The virus is endemic in central and west Africa, and usually passed to humans through contact with small mammals.
But since May 2022, more than 700 monkeypox cases have been reported in non-endemic countries. The majority of cases have been detected in Europe, and they’re believed to be the west African strain which usually causes mild disease, according to the BC CDC.
“While most, but not all, recent global infections are among young men who identify as men who have sex with other men, the virus can affect anyone through close person-to-person contact,” The BC CDC said.
The virus is spread by contact with the sores, and can sometimes be transmitted through contaminated bedding or towels. It can also be passed through respiratory droplets.
Although the virus is not known to transmit through semen, vaginal, or rectal fluids, it does spread through close contact during sex.
Monkeypox is closely related to smallpox, and there are vaccines available in Canada to protect against the virus.