A total of 681 cases of monkeypox have been identified in five Canadian states, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified a “public health emergency of international concern” in the global outbreak of the virus. Since we have declared it, the number is expected to increase.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said in a statement on July 23 that it is coordinating with states, territories, and the international community on a case-by-case basis.
“PHAC will continue to work closely with international, state and regional healthcare partners to gather information on this evolving outbreak and assess the potential risk of monkeypox virus exposure in Canada.” statement Said.
“Canada will continue to work with WHO and its international partners to strengthen its global response to the current outbreak of monkeypox.”
Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease commonly found in parts of Central and West Africa and can rarely infect humans. According to the report, its transmission is usually associated with exposure to infected animals and contaminated substances. statement Published by PHAC on May 19th.
The first two cases of monkeypox reported so far in Canada were confirmed in Québec in May. By June 10, a total of 112 confirmed cases had been identified in four states: Quebec, Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia.
“Since July 1, we have seen twice as many cases so far, the first in women and the first in Saskatchewan,” said PHAC.
Urgent declaration lacks consensus
On July 23, WHO declared that the outbreak of monkeypox was a global emergency, stating that more than 16,000 cases are currently reported in 75 countries and territories.
Global emergencies are WHO’s highest level of vigilance, but this designation does not necessarily mean that the disease is particularly contagious or fatal.
WHO Secretary-General Tedros Adhanom Gebreyes said he acted as a “tiebreaker” for monkeypox, despite the lack of consensus among experts on the UN Health Organization’s emergency committee, worldwide. I decided to call it an emergency.
It was the first time that the head of the United Nations Health Organization made such a decision unilaterally without expert recommendation.
“We have an outbreak that is rapidly spreading around the world through a new mode of infection that is poorly understood and meets the standards of the International Health Regulations,” he said on July 23. statement..
“I know this is not an easy and easy process, and there is disagreement among the members.”
According to PHAC, Imvamune, a Health Canada-approved vaccine recommended by the National Advisory Board on Immunity to Monkeypox, has been distributed more than 70,000 times by the federal government to states and territories.
To limit the spread of the virus, the federal health agency recommended that people stay home and limit contact with others if they develop symptoms.
Other recommendations include avoiding close physical contact with persons infected or exposed to the virus, maintaining good hand hygiene, and contact-rich surfaces. Includes cleaning.
“PHAC will continue to provide public updates on a regular basis as new information becomes available,” the federal agency said.
Andrew Chen and The Associated Press contributed to this report.