Monkeypox Numbers In Canada Are Expected To Rise As WHO Declares A Public Health Emergency
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has issued an update following the WHO's declaration that "the multi-country outbreak of monkeypox constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern."
According to a statement from the government agency on Saturday, July 23, there are currently 681 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Canada across five provinces.
PHAC notes that the number of cases is expected to rise "as the outbreak evolves" and that the first case in a female and the first cases in Saskatchewan have been discovered.
\u201cToday, the @WHO declared #monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern. PHAC continues to monitor closely, and work with int'l, provincial and territorial partners to prevent the spread of monkeypox: https://t.co/C2tKsGoHtS\u201d— Health Canada and PHAC (@Health Canada and PHAC) 1658621193
"Since the beginning of the outbreak, the Government of Canada's top priority has been protecting the health of all Canadians," said the feds. "Canada will continue to work with the WHO and international partners to strengthen the global response to the current monkeypox outbreak."
Over 70,000 doses of vaccines for immunization against monkeypox have been deployed across the country.
"While vaccination is expected to provide protection, a successful monkeypox outbreak response relies on a variety of public health measures including targeted public health education, equipping people with information they need to make informed choices," notes the agency.
To reduce the risk of becoming infected or spreading monkeypox, PHAC recommends staying at home and limiting contact with others if you have symptoms as well as avoiding "close physical contact," including sexual contact, with someone who may have been exposed to the virus.
They also recommend "maintaining good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette" and regularly sanitizing frequently touched surfaces and things in your house, particularly if you've had visitors.
"To lower the overall risk of getting infected with and spreading the monkeypox virus while we learn more about the virus, PHAC recommends that people in Canada use condoms and practise safe sex," they said.
"Having fewer sexual partners, particularly anonymous partners, even when they don't have symptoms, can also reduce your risk of getting infected."
On July 21, PHAC said they would be making a $1 million commitment to support communities affected by monkeypox, which was first found in Canada in May.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.