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Canada Has 77 Confirmed Cases Of Monkeypox & 71 Of Them Are In Quebec

Ontario has six and Alberta has one.

MTL Blog, Staff Writer
A close-up of Monkeypox virus particles cultivated and purified from cell culture.

A close-up of Monkeypox virus particles cultivated and purified from cell culture.

Of the 77 confirmed monkeypox cases in Canada, 71 are in Quebec and the others are split between Ontario (6) and Alberta (1). The first two cases of the rare disease were confirmed in the province mid-last month.

Monkeypox shows symptoms similar to smallpox, including fever, fatigue, and a facial/genital rash with pus-filled lesions. The virus is usually endemic in parts of Africa with tropical rainforests, where wild animals with the virus are more likely to come in contact with humans. It is uncommon for people outside of those regions to catch monkeypox, which makes it especially unusual that Canada is one of 30 non-endemic countries where the viral disease has now spread.

So far, cases have mostly but not exclusively been identified among men who have sex with men. Government health organizations are warning that anyone is at risk of catching the disease.

The Montreal Regional Public Health Department is now offering smallpox vaccinations without an appointment to eligible people. The vaccine is shown to be about 85% effective in preventing monkeypox, according to the WHO.

Vaccines are being prioritized for those without symptoms who've had skin-to-skin contact in the past 14 days with someone infected with the disease. Men who have had sexual contact with two or more male partners in the past 14 days are also encouraged to book an appointment. Workers and volunteers who have been in contact with objects or bedding potentially contaminated with the monkeypox virus in the last 14 days are also eligible.

Appointments can be made daily, from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m at 965 Boulevard de Maisonneuve Est.

Health Canada recommends taking measures to reduce exposure to the virus, which can be spread through airborne transmission, and close physical contact with infected skin lesions or items like bedding and clothing that have been touched by those with the illness.

Health experts suggest washing your hands frequently, avoiding contact with infected people, and wearing a face mask, among other measures.

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