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First case of monkeypox reported on Vancouver Island, bringing B.C. total to 21

Click to play video: 'More than half of Canadians confident in monkeypox response, but 55% worried about spread: poll'
More than half of Canadians confident in monkeypox response, but 55% worried about spread: poll
Warning: This video may contain disturbing content. Discretion is advised. Monkeypox cases are growing worldwide, but even as health officials say the risk to the public is still low, a new survey finds the disease has Canadians concerned. Jamie Mauracher reports – Jun 17, 2022

Island Health has reported its first case of monkeypox, bringing the total number of cases in British Columbia to 21.

The patient resides in the southern part of Vancouver Island and contact tracing is already underway, the health authority said in a Friday statement. Vaccines will be provided to those identified as high-risk contacts, it added.

The case, first reported Thursday, was confirmed through lab testing at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. The risk to public health remains low, according to Island Health.

All other cases of monkeypox in B.C. are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

Read more: First case of monkeypox confirmed in B.C.

Monkeypox spreads through contact with sores and items like bedding or towels that have the virus on them. It can also spread through respiratory droplets, distributed by coughs or sneezes.

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It can transmit through close contact during sexual activity.

Symptoms consist primarily of skin lesions on the mouth and genitals, and can also include fever, headaches and joint and muscle pain, according to the World Health Organization. They usually appear one to two weeks after exposure, but can take anywhere between five and 21 days.

Click to play video: 'A case of monkeypox is confirmed in B.C.'
A case of monkeypox is confirmed in B.C.

People are considered to be infections from when the symptoms first appear to the point the sores crust over, and dry new skin is visible, reads the Island Health news release.

Most patients have mild symptoms and don’t require medical intervention, it added.

As of June 22, monkeypox infections have been found in more than 50 countries and territories, primarily in Europe, according to the BC CDC. The WHO is monitoring the virus, and did not declare a global health emergency following a meeting on June 23.

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