The first case of monkeypox in British Columbia was discovered in a patient in Vancouver.
The British Columbia Center for Disease Control confirmed the infection through lab tests, it said Monday, and is awaiting further confirmation from the National Microbiology Laboratory.
A press release said Vancouver Coastal Health is conducting a public health follow-up.
A case of monkeypox has been identified in Alberta
Since May, more than 700 cases of monkeypox have been found in non-endemic countries, particularly in Europe, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in British Columbia. As of June 3, there were 77 confirmed cases in Canada, of which 71 were in Quebec, five were in Ontario and one was in Alberta.
“The risk of monkeypox infection in the general public is very low,” the center said. “There is no need to vaccinate the general public.”
The World Health Organization does not expect monkeypox to turn into another pandemic
Monkeypox spreads through contact with sores and items such as bedding or towels that contain the virus. It can also be spread by respiratory droplets spread by coughing or sneezing.
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The center added that it is not known to spread through semen, vaginal or rectal fluids, but it can be transmitted through close contact during sexual activity.
“Anyone, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, can become infected and spread the virus if they have close contact, including intimate sexual contact with an infected person or a contaminated object,” Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health official, said in a Friday briefing.
Monkeypox outbreak: Canada now has 77 confirmed cases
Symptoms primarily consist of skin lesions on the mouth and genitals, and can also include fever, headache, and joint and muscle pain, according to the World Health Organization.
Cases of monkeypox in Canada are suspected to have originated from a sauna in Montreal, doctors told Global News.
However, government officials have so far shied away from confirming the origin in Canada, citing privacy and stigma concerns.
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The CDC advised people exposed to monkeypox to watch for symptoms, which can appear five to 21 days after exposure.
Anyone showing symptoms is required to visit a healthcare professional, wear a mask and cover lesions, and report to the clinic early.
She added that they should also limit close contact, including sexual contact, with others.
– With files from Aya Al-Hakim
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