Montreal says vaccine — not limiting sexual partners — best way to fight monkeypox

Montreal health officials say men who have sex with men should get vaccinated against monkeypox instead of limit the number of people they have sex with.

City public health director Dr. Mylène Drouin says vaccination against the disease remains the best strategy to reduce transmission in the city’s LGBTQ community.

Her message differs from the one issued Wednesday from Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, who recommended that men who have sex with men limit their number of sexual partners and practise safe sex.

READ MORE: Canadians should practise safe sex, limit partners to curb monkeypox spread: Tam

Drouin says her office is taking a harm-reduction approach to monkeypox and says people should use the same safe sex practices to protect against monkeypox that they normally use for preventing other sexually transmitted infections.

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There have been 299 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Montreal and six people have been hospitalized. The disease has primarily affected men who have sex with men.

Drouin says the outbreak appears to have plateaued in Montreal, but with the disease still spreading in other countries, she says she is not optimistic it will be eliminated in the city.

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