As cases of monkeypox continue to spread in Canada and around the world, local experts are increasingly concerned about the way it is spreading.
Director of Public Health Dr Theresa Tam told reporters at a news conference on Friday (May 20) that local authorities are investigating fewer than “dozens” of individuals, mainly in Quebec.
The British Columbia Center for Disease Control later confirmed that two suspected cases in British Columbia were not monkeypox. But as of Tuesday, Quebec health officials are now reporting 10 more cases of monkeypox, for a total of 15 confirmed cases across the province.
The rare animal virus is usually restricted to Africa, and rare cases in the United States and elsewhere are usually associated with travel there.
Dr Stephen Hoption Kahn, a clinical professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC) School of Population and Public Health, told Dr. Vancouver is amazing In a phone interview he said it was “unusual” to see a number of individuals in a small number of countries becoming infected.
And although the West African variant is the type that is currently spreading and considered less dangerous, epidemiologists have not determined at what stage the virus is spreading.
“We don’t have information on the stage of its spread because … it could take a few days, it could be up to a week or two, from the time you were exposed to the virus to the time you developed symptoms,” he said. “So it spreads in the first place before people have these symptoms, which is concerning, of course, because if you don’t know you’re sick, you obviously aren’t going to take precautions against whether it spreads afterward.
“If you have a mild fever or a rash on your face…the first thing that comes to mind is monkeypox. You may not know you carry this virus, so I think we need more data about these cases and what stage of the disease is spread from person to person. for the last”.
“You are contagious for a number of weeks.”
The two main countries that have seen outbreaks of monkeypox, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria, have seen an increase in cases in recent years.
Kahn pointed out, “So we see that, and you know, with international travel … in the coming years, we can expect to see more of this coming from Africa.”
Monkeypox can also be transmitted through close contacts, such as sexual activity. But a person with active disease accompanied by lesions can be observed.
“Usually…it starts on the face, and spreads to the hands, feet and other areas of the body. So if you have a rash, a lesion…on your hands…that’s kind of obvious, and he indicated that the virus can also appear in the mouth.”
“So there [are] In different ways it can spread…so it is concerning. But we don’t know yet [how] It spreads from one individual to another. The other factor is also… that you’re predisposed for a number of weeks.”
A person who did not have symptoms of monkeypox and had many sexual partners before they realized they were sick could also inadvertently spread the virus.
What is monkeypox virus infection?
Monkeypox comes from the same family of viruses as smallpox. Most people recover from monkeypox within weeks, but the disease is fatal in up to 1 in 10 people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
It usually begins with a flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes, followed by a rash on the face and body. In Africa, people become infected by bites from rodents or small animals, and it does not usually spread easily between people.
Similar to COVID-19, medical health professionals use a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for patients who suspect they have monkeypox virus. The WHO explains: “For this purpose, the optimal diagnostic samples for monkeypox are from skin lesions – the roof or fluid from vesicles, blisters, and dry crusts.”
With files from the Canadian Press.