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Monkeypox ‘nearly eradicated’ in Montreal, once epicenter of virus outbreak in Canada

MONTREAL — Once the epicenter of Canada’s monkeypox outbreak, Montreal has nearly eradicated the virus in its territory, according to city doctors, but warns it’s too early to declare victory. .

Tourists and other visitors could still bring in cases, they said, adding that it was not yet clear how long the vaccine would last.

Physicians and members of the city’s LGTBQ community credit the rapid launch of the vaccination campaign and collaboration with public health officials and community organizations as successful in controlling the disease.

“We are cautiously optimistic,” said Dr. Geneviève Bergeron, who is in charge of health emergencies and infectious diseases at Montreal’s Public Health Service.

“We’ve definitely seen a significant decline in the last few weeks,” she said in a recent interview. “At the moment, this is the most recent case, which started in late September.”

Dr. Rejean Thomas, director of a clinic in Montreal’s Village District that specializes in STDs and blood-borne diseases, said early in the outbreak that his clinic, Lactuelle, thought they were infected. He said he was seeing nearly a dozen people in one day. I had an illness.

Now he said in a recent interview: It has been completely reduced and almost eradicated. ”

In total, his clinic treated 125 monkeypox patients. That’s more than his quarter of all cases in Montreal since the first case was discovered in Montreal on May 12.

But Mr. Thomas said it was still unclear what the future holds. He said he recently saw a monkeypox patient who was vaccinated in July.

Bergeron said research is underway into the length of protection provided by Imvamune, a smallpox vaccine approved for use against the related monkeypox virus. Vaccines are offered to people who think they may have been exposed to the virus, and to those who may be at increased risk of disease from sexual contact.

Public health officials now recommend a second dose of monkeypox vaccine for people who have received the first dose. I know you will.”

In Quebec, approximately 30,000 people received one dose of monkeypox vaccine. Last week, state public health director Dr Luc Boileau said about 6,000 people received his second.

“Things are going well,” Boirot told reporters, adding that one case had been detected in the state in the past two weeks.

But Quebec is not the only place where monkeypox cases are declining. In Ontario, where the disease trajectory has followed a similar pattern, the province’s chief medical officer said in mid-October that he was “actively considering” declaring the outbreak over.

According to the World Health Organization, the number of new cases of monkeypox in several countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom and Italy, fell by more than 50% in the last week of October compared to the previous week. Several other countries, including France and the United States, have recorded smaller declines, but new cases are still rising in other parts of Europe and parts of Latin America.

Bergeron said it wasn’t clear what was causing the decline, but said vaccination and seasonality may have played a role.

“Montreal has fewer cases overall than other countries and other jurisdictions, so I think the vaccination campaign has helped,” she said.

Bergeron said public health officials were aware of the high risk of stigmatizing people and worked closely with communities to craft the vaccination message. If people worry about being judged or stigmatized for defending themselves, it will backfire, she said.

Christian Tanguay, executive director of the Montreal LGBTQ+ Community Center, said his experience at the immunization clinic was like getting a flu shot, but he feared being stigmatized for having multiple partners. He said he was worried about people not being vaccinated.

Seeing three people he knew contracted the virus, he immediately got vaccinated and encouraged others to do the same.

Tanguay said the outbreak caused real fear and came at a difficult time after the COVID-19 pandemic when life was returning to normal and people wanted to be around each other again. .

Alexandre Dumont Blais, executive director of RÉZO, an organization that promotes sexual health among gays, bisexuals, and other men who have sex with men, said people in the LGBTQ community are aware that the outbreak is behind them. The number of questions his group receives about the disease has dropped significantly.

“I feel so much better than I did a few months ago,” he said in a recent interview.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on November 7, 2022.

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Monkeypox ‘nearly eradicated’ in Montreal, once epicenter of virus outbreak in Canada

Source link Monkeypox ‘nearly eradicated’ in Montreal, once epicenter of virus outbreak in Canada

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