Canada’s Public Health Agency (PHAC) said Wednesday that Canada now has 477 confirmed cases of monkeypox, with cases rising in three provinces over the past week.
Since July 4, 177 new cases have been confirmed in the country, a 59% increase from the previous nine days.
Quebec still accounts for the lion’s share of the viral illness, with 284 cases as of July 13, up from 211 cases last week.
But Ontario has seen the highest increase in cases of any province, with 156 confirmed cases from 77 as of July 4. British Columbia also saw a surge in cases for the first time in weeks, with 29 cases now confirmed, up from four previously. Alberta still has only eight confirmed cases, unchanged from the previous update.
According to the PHAC, monkeypox, which causes flu-like symptoms and skin sores, is caused by an orthopoxvirus related to smallpox, spread from animals to humans.
People can become infected through direct contact with an infected person or by sharing contaminated items, including bedding or towels.
“PHAC continues to collect and analyze epidemiological information reported by provinces and territories to help determine the national scope of the investigation and determine whether people in Canada have whether there is a high health risk for
Outbreaks of the viral disease have been reported in about 60 countries where monkeypox is not endemic, with the number of confirmed cases now at 10,400. The disease is found mainly in West and Central Africa and rarely spreads elsewhere.
The World Health Organization announced on Tuesday that its monkeypox emergency committee will meet again next week to review trends related to the outbreak and how effective the countermeasures against the virus have been.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing in Geneva on Tuesday that the committee would also recommend what countries and communities should do to combat the outbreak.
PHAC said in a statement that Canada’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Teresa Tam is in close contact with her provincial and regional counterparts to ensure that cases of monkeypox in Canada are quickly identified and treated.
National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Man. The agency said it is conducting clinical trials of the virus on samples from Canadian monkeypox and conducting whole genome sequencing – advanced fingerprint analysis.
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