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Quebec Will Start Vaccinating Monkeypox Cases' Close Contacts — The Latest Updates

There have now been 25 confirmed cases in Quebec.

Senior Editor
Quebec Interim National Public Health Director Dr. Luc Boileau at a press conference on May 26, 2022.

Quebec Interim National Public Health Director Dr. Luc Boileau at a press conference on May 26, 2022.

Interim National Public Health Director Dr. Luc Boileau said Thursday that the total number of confirmed monkeypox cases in Quebec had risen to 25. Other possible cases involving lesions on the skin, a symptom of the disease, are under investigation.

He explained the virus spreads through "close and prolonged contact" and that infected individuals remain contagious until their lesions heal.

A vaccine already exists. Boileau said Quebec received a shipment from the federal government on Tuesday, May 24. Officials will begin offering single doses to what the public health director described as the "high risk" contacts of confirmed and "probable" cases only. His examples of "high-risk" contacts included people who live in the same household or who have had a sexual encounter with an infected individual.

Doses will be available only following exposure to the monkeypox virus and a recommendation from public health.

Boileau asked people who have been in contact with a case to avoid sexual or otherwise intimate relations and to monitor themselves for symptoms. Infected individuals, he said, have to "remain as isolated as possible" until their lesions heal or until they get the okay from a doctor.

He concluded by insisting "we are not facing a new disease that is similar to the coronavirus. We are not in a situation where there is a significant, active contagion."

"But it's still serious," he added. "We have to contain it as quickly as possible."

On Tuesday, federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos also assured Canada will follow the situation and support provinces' containment efforts.

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