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After investigating two cases, BC CDC says monkeypox not suspected

Click to play video: 'What is monkeypox and how is it transmitted?' What is monkeypox and how is it transmitted?
Stephen Hoption Cann from the UBC School of Population and Public Health explains what monkeypox virus is and how the disease is transmitted. – May 20, 2022

Dr. Theresa Tam said Friday that “people under investigation by local authorities are following up in Quebec but then in British Columbia as well.”

So far, only two cases have been confirmed in Quebec, which are the first cases in Canada.

Click to play video: 'Canada’s top doctor says monkeypox spread ‘unusual,’ but infection risk ‘low’' Canada’s top doctor says monkeypox spread ‘unusual,’ but infection risk ‘low’
Canada’s top doctor says monkeypox spread ‘unusual,’ but infection risk ‘low’ – May 20, 2022

“A communication has gone out to regional health authorities and medical microbiologists about monkeypox with information on symptoms, laboratory testing and diagnosis, infection control precautions, treatment and notification/reporting requirements,” the BCCDC said in a statement. “Clinicians are asked to notify their regional health authority and local microbiologist about any possible cases.”

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“No suspect cases or contacts of monkeypox are under investigation in B.C. at this time.”

Canada’s chief public health officer said earlier Friday there are now just under two dozen cases of monkeypox in Canada and there were some suspected cases in B.C.

Click to play video: 'BCCDC says no suspected cases of monkeypox in B.C.' BCCDC says no suspected cases of monkeypox in B.C.
BCCDC says no suspected cases of monkeypox in B.C – May 20, 2022

Dr. Theresa Tam said Friday that “people under investigation by local authorities are following up in Quebec but then in British Columbia as well.”

So far, only two cases have been confirmed in Quebec, which are the first cases in Canada.

Read more: Monkeypox spread ‘unusual’ but risk to Canadians is ‘low,’ officials say

“A communication has gone out to regional health authorities and medical microbiologists about monkeypox with information on symptoms, laboratory testing and diagnosis, infection control precautions, treatment and notification/reporting requirements,” the BCCDC said in a statement. “Clinicians are asked to notify their regional health authority and local microbiologist about any possible cases.”

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Click to play video: 'Canada’s top doctor discusses vaccine strategies for monkeypox' Canada’s top doctor discusses vaccine strategies for monkeypox
Canada’s top doctor discusses vaccine strategies for monkeypox – May 20, 2022

Monkeypox is a zoonotic infectious disease that results in occasional human infections usually associated with exposure to infected animals or contaminated materials, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

“Limited cases have been identified in other regions in the past, including the United Kingdom, United States, Israel and Singapore, but never before in Canada,” the agency said.

While human-to-human spread of monkeypox is uncommon, close contact with an infected individual through bodily fluids, lesions on skin like blisters and/or respiratory droplets can transmit the virus, PHAC said.

Read more: Canada confirms first 2 cases of monkeypox in Quebec

Sharing clothing, bedding or common items that have been contaminated with the infected person’s fluids or sores can also spread the virus.

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On Wednesday, the U.S. confirmed its first case of monkeypox this year in a man who recently travelled to Canada.

Health officials in European countries where monkeypox cases have been found this month said the majority of the cases were men who have sex with men.

Click to play video: 'Monkeypox: What is it and is it a cause for concern?' Monkeypox: What is it and is it a cause for concern?
Monkeypox: What is it and is it a cause for concern? – May 20, 2022

Tam said Friday there could be more cases announced in the days ahead as tests are still being conducted.

“There are samples under processing at the National Microbiology Lab as we speak, so we might expect to hear more confirmations in the upcoming hours and days,” Tam told reporters during a news conference on Friday.

—with files from Saba Aziz

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