The BC Centre for Disease Control issued a statement Friday afternoon saying there are no suspected cases of monkeypox in the province.
The update came after Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said a “couple” of BC patients were among a “couple dozen” suspected cases of monkeypox nationwide.
But the CDC said public health workers interviewed the two individuals and determined they were not in contact with other monkeypox cases — and had not been exposed to the virus.
“No suspect cases or contacts of monkeypox are under investigation in BC at this time,” the CDC said.
Canada confirmed its first two cases of monkeypox this week, following a cluster of cases being discovered in Europe.
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What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a viral illness that typically beings with flu-like symptoms, lymph node swelling, and progresses to a rash on the face and body. Lesions can also appear on mucous membranes, including the mouth, tongue, and genitals. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, most infections last two to four weeks.
It’s part of the orthopoxvirus family and has been documented to occur in Central and West Africa for decades. It’s thought to spread poorly among humans, and exposure typically comes from small wild mammals.