Monkeypox in Canada: Federal government sends vaccine to Quebec, where 15 confirmed cases

The federal government is sending vaccines and other “therapeutics” to Quebec in response to a recent outbreak of monkeypox that has grown to 15 confirmed cases.

Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos announced Tuesday evening that the total number of confirmed cases has increased by 10 in Quebec, the first known hotspot in the country and the only province to confirm the infection. positive for a rare disease.

The country’s first two cases were confirmed in Quebec last Thursday. The number increased to five the next day.

Cases in Canada prompted a meeting over the weekend with chief health officials to come up with a plan, including clinical responses to the outbreak.

“This includes pre-locating Imvamune vaccines and therapeutics from our National Emergency Strategic Stockpile (NESS) in jurisdictions across the country – starting with accepted Quebec. our offer to receive a small shipment of Imvamune vaccine today to support their targeted response,” Duclos said in a Tuesday evening news release.

The minister said the government would publish updated guidance on infection control in the coming days and weeks, including “quarantine advice”, and sought to reassure Canadians that this outbreak was unlike anything else. like the early days of COVID-19.

“While the global understanding of monkeypox virus continues to develop, we have a vaccine supply we will be sure to maintain and we are working with provincial and regional partners territory to deploy the fastest response plan, Duclos said.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also set to release several doses of the Jynneos vaccine to treat those infected in that country. However, a World Health Organization official said he did not believe mass vaccination against monkeypox was needed, as has been seen with the coronavirus pandemic.

Richard Pebody, head of the high-threat pathogens group at WHO Europe, told Reuters good hygiene and “safe sex behavior” could be enough to limit the spread of the virus. Smallpox in monkeys.

An infectious disease expert in Ontario says using a “round approach” to vaccination can do the trick, meaning vaccinating all infected people and close contacts. close to them.

“That way you make sure it doesn’t spread out of that ring,” Dr Allison McGeer, an infectious disease physician at Sinai Health, told CTV News Channel.

Smallpox in monkeys is spread by long-term and close contact and comes from the same family of viruses as smallpox, another viral disease that has been eradicated through vaccination in the United States. 1980s.

Symptoms of monkeypox include lesions on the mouth or genitals, often preceded by fever, night sweats, headache, swollen lymph nodes, and joint or muscle pain.

The Quebec Ministry of Health recommends that people who have been in close contact with a suspected case or someone with similar symptoms should monitor for symptoms for 21 days and avoid sex. If symptoms arise, people should get checked out by a healthcare professional.

– With files from Reuters’ Patrick Rail and CTV News’

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