Quebec has once again reported the highest number with 211 cases, while Ontario has reported 77 cases. There are also eight confirmed cases in Alberta and four cases in British Columbia.
Monkeypox is a viral infectious disease transmitted to humans from animals caused by an orthopoxvirus, which is related to smallpox, according to PHAC.
Individuals can be infected through direct contact with an infected person or by shared contaminated objects.
PHAC noted that the possibility and extent of respiratory transmission of monkeypox is “unclear at this time.”
“The Public Health Agency of Canada is working with provinces, territories and international partners, including the World Health Organization, to actively monitor the situation,” states PHAC. “Global efforts are focused on containment of the outbreak and the prevention of further spread.”
Besides performing diagnostic testing for monkeypox virus, Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory is also conducting whole genome sequencing on Canadian samples of monkeypox to understand the chains of transmission happening in Canada, states PHAC.
In Canada, adults 18 years of age and older who do not have contraindications are eligible to receive the IMVAMUNE vaccine, which is intentionally developed to treat smallpox.
Vaccination against smallpox is about 85 per cent effective in preventing monkeypox, PHAC states.
A total of 8,101 doses of IMVAMUNE vaccine have been administered in Quebec since May 27, while almost 6,000 people in Toronto have been vaccinated against monkeypox as of June 30, provincial health authorities told Global News.
Cases have tripled in Europe in the past two weeks, WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge stated in a statement released July 1.
Despite the growing number of cases, WHO ruled on June 25 that monkeypox is not yet a global health emergency.
— with files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise and Issac Callan, The Associated Press and Reuters