With 17 suspicious cases under investigation in Montreal, Canada is currently one of the centers of global monkeypox outbreaks scrambled by health authorities.
Monkeypox, which belongs to the same viral family as smallpox, was discovered in 1958 and is rarely found outside Central and West Africa.
However, in recent weeks, more and more countries in Europe and beyond have reported clusters of monkeypox cases. Canada is in it now.
On Thursday, Montreal public health officials confirmed that they were investigating 17 possible cases and urged the public not to panic.
“We don’t have to panic. It’s not available in grocery stores or public transport,” Dr. Milene Drouin, director of public health for the city, said at a media conference.
Ontario is working with the federal government to monitor cases of monkeypox, said Bill Campbell, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, but is unaware of cases in the state. Ottawa Public Health also monitors cases that begin with fever, headache, myalgia, and malaise, and may be followed by characteristic rashes and painful lesions that often appear on the palms.
The state is asking people who are worried about the symptoms they are experiencing to “contact a medical professional right away,” Campbell said, adding that the risk of monkeypox virus is low. rice field.
Drouin said the suspicious cases in Montreal were mainly among men between the ages of 30 and 55 who had sex with other men. Authorities say some of the patients investigating the possibility of monkeypox have oral and genital lesions. Neither case was confirmed by laboratory tests and was not serious, she said.
Many cases in Canada and elsewhere are associated with sexually transmitted diseases and have been detected in clinics treating sexually transmitted diseases, but monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease and is spread by close contact and droplets. Authorities say.
According to Earl Brown, a virologist at the University of Ottawa, monkeypox is rare, but not unheard of, outside Africa, where rodents function as reservoirs. However, clusters of cases found around the world are extremely rare.
“I’m a little worried that I’m hearing a lot in other countries as well.”
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, monkeypox reappeared in Nigeria in 2017 after more than 40 years, with no reported cases. Since then, more than 450 cases have been reported and at least 8 have been exported internationally.
Non-African cases are usually travel-related or imported pet-related, and are limited to one or a few cases, according to Brown.
The number of cases reported internationally in the last few weeks has cast doubt on whether monkeypox human-to-human transmission has changed. Some important questions are whether viral illnesses behave differently than in the past, and whether their proximity to the COVID-19 pandemic is a factor. Brown questioned whether COVID-19 made some people more susceptible to other viruses.
These are one of the questions that public health authorities will consider. More urgently, you will be able to seek out, investigate, and track suspicious cases, control their spread, and better understand them.
In Montreal, public health officials are still investigating the link between the cases of the city’s suspects, and Drouin said he wasn’t sure if the first case reported on May 12 was from a traveler. Stated.
“To understand all the links in the chain, we need to do a thorough investigation,” she said.
On Wednesday, the United States identified the first case of a Massachusetts man who recently traveled to Canada. The UK has begun vaccination with smallpox vaccine to some close contact between cases and healthcare professionals.
Drouin said he wasn’t sure if Montreal could get a smallpox vaccine and vaccinate contacts. She said it would be determined at the state and federal levels.
There are two known strains of monkeypox. A Congolese strain with a mortality rate of 10% and a West African strain with a mortality rate of 1%. Cases seen in international outbreaks are less toxic strains.
Smallpox, part of the same viral family as monkeypox, killed millions of people over the centuries before it was eradicated in 1981. It is the only infectious disease that has been eradicated and is at the heart of the vaccine revolution.
The first vaccine invented was against smallpox, and high-dose vaccination played an important role in its eradication. Canadian schoolchildren were vaccinated against smallpox until the 1970s, and the military continued to be vaccinated against smallpox until the 1980s.
Brown said that people immunized against smallpox were likely to have some protection against monkeypox.
Health officials in Montreal said Thursday they didn’t want to see any part of the population stigmatized in the suspicion of an outbreak.
“We are worried about long periods of close contact, which can occur in all kinds of situations,” says Drouin.
Canada is now the global center of expanding monkeypox outbreaks
Source link Canada is now the global center of expanding monkeypox outbreaks