A specialist in infectious diseases said, on Wednesday, that suspected cases of monkeypox are under investigation in Montreal, where global reports indicate an increasing number of infections in other countries.
Donald Finh, a medical microbiologist at McGill University Health Center, said he was aware of at least seven suspected cases under investigation in Montreal, including at MUHC, as of Wednesday.
The news comes as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported Wednesday that it confirmed the first case of monkeypox in the United States in 2022. The individual is an adult male who recently traveled to Canada. The agency did not indicate which province or provinces the person visited, and did not respond to questions.
“The message is not to panic,” Finh said, adding that it was possible the person had traveled to Quebec. “What we need to do is get the message across to people who may be connected through activities to the case in Massachusetts or suspected cases here that they may have been exposed to.”
Vinh said he expects to get results from the Federal Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg on Friday.
However, Montreal’s Public Health Authority declined to comment late Wednesday on a Radio Canada report that at least 13 suspected monkeypox cases were under investigation in the city.
There are no confirmed cases of monkeypox, said agency spokesman Jean-Nicolas Obe, adding that he could not make any further comment.
Public Health Canada (PHAC) issued a statement to the Montreal Gazette saying that it is “aware of the current situation and is closely monitoring the reporting of monkeypox cases in Europe. No cases (in Canada) have been reported to the Primary Health Care Center (PHAC). ) at present “.
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that usually begins with symptoms such as fever, headache, back pain, and fatigue, and then progresses to a rash on the face and body. PHAC says that the swelling, or swollen lymph nodes, associated with monkeypox distinguishes it from smallpox. The study says the incubation period ranges from seven to 17 days and most monkeypox infections last from two to four weeks.
The agency also notes that the smallpox vaccine, which was routinely given to Canadians born before 1972, protects against monkeypox. Smallpox was eradicated in 1977.
The monkeypox virus does not spread easily between people, say Vinh and the Massachusetts Department of Health.
“Transmission can occur through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, fluid-contaminated items or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.), or through respiratory droplets after prolonged face-to-face contact,” the website.
Study finds screen time has increased among Montreal teens during the pandemic
Legal experts have warned that Bill 96 will impede access to health care in English