Monkeypox

Monkeypox Outbreak – Here Is The Latest On Canada Situation!


Monkeypox is an infectious disease that everyone has been talking about recently. It is caused by the monkeypox virus, a member of the same family of viruses as smallpox.

The world has been trying to understand more about the rapidly emerging monkeypox outbreaks. However, it is clear that the virus is changing its behaviour and can now spread undetected from one person to another.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that there are currently about 92 confirmed cases in non-endemic countries and 28 suspected cases as of May 21. As of latest update by BBC today (May 22) around 5:00 pm EST, more than 80 cases have been confirmed in the recent outbreak in Europe, the US, Canada and Australia.

Monkeypox

Monkeypox World Map

Monkeypox Situation In Canada

So far, there have been 5 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Quebec. There are some suspected cases of monkeypox that are being investigated. Also, there is a link to a confirmed case in the U.S. recently.

Public health officials in Montreal revealed that there are 17 suspected cases of the virus in the city that have been declared to public health.

Dr. Mylène Drouin, the director of public health for Montreal said that “Mainly those cases are men that have had sexual relationships with other men, aged between 30 to 55 years old,” She also mentioned that presentation of the virus is mainly lesions in oral and genital regions along with fever, sweating and headaches.


May 20, 2022

Origin of Monkeypox

Monkeypox was first identified in a captive monkey in 1970. Since then, there have been sporadic outbreaks reported across 10 African countries. In 2003 there was the first outbreak of the virus outside Africa- the US.

Patients got infected from close contact with prairie dogs that had been infected by small mammals imported into the country. Thankfully, none of the cases resulted in deaths. In 2017, Nigeria experienced the largest known outbreak with 172 suspected cases. 

What are the Symptoms?

The initial symptoms of Monkeypox are fever, headaches, swellings, back pain, and aching muscles. It starts with the face and then spreads to other parts of the body, most commonly the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

The rash can be very painful and itchy. Also, the lesions can cause scarring. The infection mostly clears on its own and it can last anywhere between 14 and 21 days. After the fever breaks, there can be a rash.

How Is Monkeypox Spread?

Monkeypox spreads if you are in close contact with an infected person. The virus enters the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract, or through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Also, it can be passed on by direct contact during sex.

Moreover, it can be spread by coming in contact with infected animals such as monkeys, rats, and squirrels, or by virus-contaminated objects, such as bedding and clothing.

Should You be Concerned?

Most Monkeypox cases are mild and resemble chickenpox. However, sometimes cases can be severe and be fatal. 

Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo recently said that, since Canada stopped smallpox vaccination campaigns in the early 1970s, those under 50 would not have any protection while older Canadians’ immunity has likely waned.

Vaccines against smallpox have been proven to be 85% effective in preventing monkeypox. Also, antiviral drugs may also help. Canada has purchased more than $30 million US worth of smallpox vaccines. It is expected to be delivered in 2023. 


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