The World Health Organization (WHO) declared monkeypox a public health emergency on Saturday, and experts acknowledge the virus may be a persistent threat in Canada, but say the country is not necessarily at risk. Increase in level.
“I don’t think the risk has necessarily increased at this point, but it certainly has the potential to do so,” said Dr. Donald Vinh, an infectious disease specialist at McGill University Health Center.
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Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at Toronto General Hospital, said the risk to the general public in Canada at this time is unusually low.
“It’s affecting the community of men who are now having sex with other men, but that doesn’t mean it can’t spread outside of that community,” Bogoch said.
Vinh said there is also a concern that it could stigmatize the larger LGBTQ community.
“That’s something we really have to fight against,” he said. “We’re working with science and safety and there’s no role for malpractice in any of this.”
Monkeypox is a rare disease from the same family of viruses that causes smallpox, which was declared eradicated worldwide by the WHO in 1980.
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It spreads through prolonged close contact, although it is not highly contagious in a normal social setting. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes and lesions. Most recover within weeks without the need for medical care.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Saturday that the decision to declare monkeypox a global emergency comes as the outbreak meets the “five elements of the International Health Regulations (IHR)” that define the outbreak. Let’s say it’s a global health emergency.
Tedros said the criteria include the unprecedented rapid spread of the virus in many countries, the threat it poses to human health, international spread and the potential to interfere with international traffic.
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Winn explained that the announcement means that a coordinated response to monkeypox is now needed to control it globally.
He said there will be integrated research and development, and mass manufacturing of vaccines … and massive and rapid access to data.
In response to the WHO announcement, the Government of Canada said in a statement that it “will continue to work with international, provincial and territorial health partners to gather information about this emerging outbreak and assess the potential risk of monkeypox virus in Canada.”
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U.S. health officials are battling two fronts of rising cases of monkey pox, COVID-19.
As of Saturday, the government said there were 681 confirmed cases of monkeypox in five Canadian provinces and the number was expected to rise as the outbreak spread.
“Since July 1, we have seen a doubling of cases to date, the first case in a woman, and the first case in Saskatchewan,” the government said.
A total of 177 new cases were confirmed in the country between July 4 and 13, representing a 59 percent increase in the number of cases during that time.
The bulk of the viral illness continues in Quebec, with 284 cases as of July 13, up from 211 the previous week. But Ontario saw the largest increase in cases of all provinces, jumping from 77 cases to 156 cases as of July 4.
“Provinces like Ontario have seen big increases of late… and all of that brings us to the message, which is that we need a really coordinated global effort to try and control monkeypox. needs to be done,” Winn said.
Monkeypox: Vaccine is recommended for Canadians at high risk of exposure.
Last month, Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommended that Canadians who are at high risk of contracting monkeypox — not just those who have been infected — get a vaccine.
Anyone at high risk of exposure to a suspected or confirmed case of monkeypox, or who has visited a setting where the virus is being transmitted, should receive one dose of Imvamune vaccine, NACI said. Should.
Imvamune, commonly used to treat smallpox, has been approved by Health Canada to treat monkeypox.
In an email to OlxPraca on Saturday, Health Canada said the government has distributed more than 70,000 doses of the vaccine to provinces and territories to date.
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Quebec has been vaccinating close contacts of confirmed or suspected monkeypox cases since late May, with thousands of people vaccinated since then.
In Toronto, the city is hosting community clinics that offer the Imvamune vaccine to people at risk. As of July 4, nearly 6,000 at-risk individuals had been shot since June 30.
Meanwhile, Vancouver Coastal Health is opening more monkeypox vaccine clinics, expanding access to people age 18 and older who are transgender or from the LGBTQ2 community, and who are at extra high risk. Meet the criteria.
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In an email, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said Canadians can protect themselves from the monkeypox virus by staying at home and limiting contact with others if they have symptoms, and by avoiding close physical contact, including sexual contact. Can reduce the risk of infection or spread. , with someone who is infected, and to maintain good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
“To reduce your overall risk of contracting and spreading monkeypox virus or other sexually transmitted infections, we recommend using condoms, practicing safer sex and, having fewer sexual partners, especially But those who are anonymous, even when they don’t have symptoms,” said PHAC.
— With files from Heidi Lee, Aaron D’Andrea, Teresa Wright and The Canadian Press
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