Alberta detects second case of monkeypox

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Your monkeypox questions answered by an infectious disease physician
For many of us, monkeypox is a virus we hadn’t heard of before this month. And while it is spreading, how worried do we need to be? We spoke with infectious disease physician, Allison McGeer who breaks it all down with a reassuring outlook – May 27, 2022

A second case of monkeypox has been detected in Alberta, the province’s chief medical officer of health said Tuesday evening.

“I can confirm that this case is not linked to the first case announced last week and at this time there is no known direct connection to other confirmed cases,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw wrote on social media.

She said the individual is self-isolating and cooperating with health authorities in contact tracing efforts.

“We are prioritizing investigation and contact tracing to reach other individuals who may be at risk of exposure. At this time, the overall risk of contracting monkeypox remains low in Alberta,” Hinshaw wrote.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said the poxvirus is “predominantly” spread via close physical skin-to-skin contact, “which is why it can be spread to sexual partners. While monkeypox is not an STI, the majority of global cases to date have been among men who have reported intimate relations with other men.”

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Hinshaw stressed that monkeypox is not limited to one community and last week Dr. Theresa Tam said monkeypox isn’t limited to people of any one sexual orientation.

“Anyone with prolonged close contact with someone who is infectious is at risk,” Hinshaw wrote. “It is important to not stigmatize any group.”

She advised anyone experiencing symptoms of genital sores, fever or rash, especially those with a new sexual partner, should self-isolate and call Health Link at 811.

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“Advice to practice safer sex applies to everyone, such as avoiding having sex if feeling unwell,” the CMOH wrote.

Monkeypox cases have been identified in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia since this year’s outbreak began.

Earlier in the day, the Public Health Agency of Canada issued a travel notice as the monkeypox virus continues to spread around the world.

Travellers are advised to practice enhanced health precautions under the Level 2 advisory.

The travel advisory didn’t list any specific countries, but cases of monkeypox have been reported in places like the UK and U.S.

PHAC recommends consulting with a health care professional or visiting a travel health clinic at least six weeks before travelling. Wearing a face mask, frequent handwashing and avoiding close physical contact with people who are sick is also recommended.

–with files from Irelyne Lavery, Global News

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