Canada's monkeypox cases hit 300 as numbers exceed 5,800 globally

WATCH: World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday said that countries need to increase surveillance through testing and ensure more access to vaccines and antivirals to combat monkeypox as the virus continues to spread. He also said he's concerned about sustained transmission as it could move into higher-risk groups, adding that some children have already been reported infected with the virus in some countries.

Canada has now confirmed 300 monkeypox cases as of July 4, according to an announcement from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) on Monday.

Quebec has once again reported the highest number with 211 cases, while Ontario has reported 77 cases. There are also eight confirmed cases in Alberta and four cases in British Columbia.

Monkeypox is a viral infectious disease transmitted to humans from animals caused by an orthopoxvirus, which is related to smallpox, according to PHAC.

Read more:

Monkeypox cases in Europe have tripled in last 2 weeks, says WHO

Individuals can be infected through direct contact with an infected person or by shared contaminated objects.

PHAC noted that the possibility and extent of respiratory transmission of monkeypox is “unclear at this time.”

“The Public Health Agency of Canada is working with provinces, territories and international partners, including the World Health Organization, to actively monitor the situation,” states PHAC. “Global efforts are focused on containment of the outbreak and the prevention of further spread.”

Besides performing diagnostic testing for monkeypox virus, Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory is also conducting whole genome sequencing on Canadian samples of monkeypox to understand the chains of transmission happening in Canada, states PHAC.

In Canada, adults 18 years of age and older who do not have contraindications are eligible to receive the IMVAMUNE vaccine, which is intentionally developed to treat smallpox.

Vaccination against smallpox is about 85 per cent effective in preventing monkeypox, PHAC states.

A total of 8,101 doses of IMVAMUNE vaccine have been administered in Quebec since May 27, while almost 6,000 people in Toronto have been vaccinated against monkeypox as of June 30, provincial health authorities told Global News.

Worldwide cases of monkeypox are also on the rise. As of July 1, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 5,782 confirmed cases across 52 countries.

On July 4, Reuters reported over 5,800 confirmed cases globally, with data obtained from the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. CDC and local authorities.

Cases have tripled in Europe in the past two weeks, WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge stated in a statement released July 1.

Despite the growing number of cases, WHO ruled on June 25 that monkeypox is not yet a global health emergency.

— with files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise and Issac Callan, The Associated Press and Reuters

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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