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monkeypox montreal

Just over a month after Quebec declared an end to its mpox outbreak, officials have confirmed two more cases in the Montreal area.

Montreal public health says the two positive test results date to March 17. Both individuals are men who have sex with men (MSM) "who acquired the disease through sexual contact while travelling in countries where local transmission is documented," a statement from public health reads.

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As of August 4, Quebec has reported 407 total cases of monkeypox, a virus whose symptoms include skin lesions, usually in the mouth or genital area. In response, Montreal has created a free pop-up vaccination clinic located in the Village (1254, rue Sainte-Catherine Est) through Pride Week and vaccinations are available at multiple locations by appointment on clic santé.

Monkeypox, also called simian pox, is transmitted through prolonged close contact, including during sex and other physically intimate interactions. An infected symptomatic person can spread the virus as soon as symptoms are detectable, and this contagiousness lasts until the sores have fully healed. The illness can last for up to a month.

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Monkeypox is on the rise in Quebec as reported cases of the illness increase to a total of 331.

In a matter of weeks, Quebec's reported cases of monkeypox jumped by 110 — making it the epicentre of the virus in Canada.

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On July 23, the World Health Organization officially declared monkeypox a global health emergency.

The last time the WHO declared an outbreak a global health emergency was with COVID-19 on January 30, 2020. However, things are looking different with monkeypox.

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In only a matter of weeks, the number of monkeypox cases has skyrocketed in Quebec and the rest of Canada.

The province remains the Canadian epicentre of the monkeypox virus as Quebec officially reached a total of 211 cases as of July 6, 2022 — an increase of 209 cases in a matter of a month.

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As of June 13, Quebec has had a total of 132 monkeypox cases. With the aim of easing or even preventing symptoms in case of infection, officials have begun offering the monkeypox vaccine to specific groups, including men who have more than one male sexual partner.

The people who are eligible for the vaccine are, according to Montreal public health:

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The Public Health Agency of Canada has confirmed 15 cases of monkeypox in the country, over a dozen of which have been recorded in Montreal. The city has 13 confirmed cases of the rare infection and is now investigating 14 more. The monkeypox virus causes face and genital lesions and has never before spread outside of western Africa in such numbers.

"Samples from other jurisdictions in Canada are on the way to PHAC’s National Microbiology Laboratory for testing and we expect more cases to be confirmed in the coming days," Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said in a statement.

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The Public Health Agency (PHAC) announced Thursday night that following positive lab tests, it had confirmed the first monkeypox cases in Canada, both in Quebec. Earlier in the day, Montreal's public health director, Dr. Mylène Drouin, said there were 17 suspected cases in the Montreal area: 15 in the city itself, and two each on the South and North Shores.

On Friday morning, Montreal public health upped the suspected case count on Montreal Island, alone, to 18.

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Regional Public Health Director Dr. Mylène Drouin confirmed Thursday morning that there are 17 suspected monkeypox cases in the Montreal area: 15 in Montreal itself and one each on the south and north shores. She said all of these individuals are in isolation awaiting lab confirmation of infection.

A few of the suspected cases are possibly linked to a person with a confirmed case in Massachusetts who travelled to Canada, Dr. Geneviève Bergeron said at a Thursday press conference.

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