Quebec now has Canada's first two confirmed cases of monkeypox

May 20 2022, 1:03 pm

The country’s first two cases of the rare infectious virus monkeypox have been confirmed in Quebec by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The federal agency says it has alerted public health authorities to look for symptoms in patients, regardless of whether they’ve been travelling.

The PHAC says monkeypox is a zoonotic infectious disease primarily found in parts of central and West Africa that result in “occasional human infections,” usually associated with exposure to infected animals or contaminated materials.

Limited cases have been identified in other regions in the past, including the United Kingdom, United States, Israel and Singapore, but never before in Canada.

The agency says it is “not yet certain” how the Canadian individuals were exposed to monkeypox virus.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says the person-to-person spread of the virus is “uncommon” but when a spread does occur, the mode of transmission is through close contact with an infected individual, “such as through direct contact with their body fluids, respiratory droplets, monkeypox sores, or by sharing clothing, bedding, or common items that have been contaminated with the infected person’s fluids or sores.”

Signs and symptoms of monkeypox can typically include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash that often appears within a few days after symptoms develop.

Earlier on Thursday, Montreal’s top public health official, Dr. Mylène Drouin, urged people not to panic. “It’s not something that you can acquire when you [do your groceries] or on public transportation,” she said.

The Public Health Agency of Canada concluded by saying this is an “evolving and ongoing investigation, both in Canada and around the world.”

Ty JadahTy Jadah

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