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Health PEI preparing as monkeypox cases rise across Canada – CBC.ca

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While P.E.I. has had no confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox, the provincial health organization says it is doing what it can to prepare.

Monkeypox, also known as MPX, has been spreading globally this year for the first time, with 210 cases in Canada according to the federal government’s website. Patients must isolate until the lesions it causes heal. 

“We have 140 doses of vaccine and those are given four weeks apart for anyone who is identified as a close contact,” P.E.I.’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison told CBC News.

“We also have a couple of treatment courses, and those are antivirals from the emergency stockpile that have been allocated to Prince Edward Island.”

Morrison said most symptoms of monkeypox occur within five to 21 days following exposure, and transmission usually occurs from skin-to-skin contact. 

“There’s some aerosolised transmission as well with someone else who has monkeypox, so certainly watching for the signs and symptoms associated with that if there’s been that contact,” she said.

The vaccine for monkeypox is given four days after exposure to reduce the chances of getting sick, while antiviral courses are given to those who are confirmed to have monkeypox. 

Some health authorities in cities with high rates of monkeypox, like Toronto and Montreal, are beginning to vaccinate some at-risk groups preventatively. Morrison said that while P.E.I. has no plans to do this now, they are in discussion with other Atlantic public health colleagues and watching the national guidance closely.

A health-care worker prepares a syringe at a monkeypox vaccination clinic run by public health authorities in Montreal, where case numbers have been rising. (Christinne Muschi/Reuters)

“We want, at this point in time, to make sure our physicians and nurse practitioners are aware of the information and also working with some community partners to make sure that there’s good education about monkeypox,” she said.

“If we see an outbreak on Prince Edward Island, then we will adjust and may try to do some further vaccination.”

Morrison said that she thinks monkeypox is a “very low risk for the general population” at this point, and that most people recover fairly well within two to four weeks.

“For most people, it’s a self-limiting virus. But it can certainly be, as with any of the viruses, certainly more symptomatic for for some people than others.”

She said lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic mean there has been more focus and understanding about viruses and communicable disease in general, and that helps with knowledge of spread and containment.

However, Morrison said it’s important for those who may have come into contact with someone who has monkeypox or those who are showing symptoms to talk to a doctor or nurse. 

Hands wearing blue gloves hold a device being used to prepare Monkeypox samples for testing in a lab setting.
A centrifuge device spins as it is used to prepare suspected monkeypox samples for PCR test at a microbiology laboratory in Madrid, Spain. Europe is at the centre of the monkeypox virus outbreak, with Britain, Spain and Portugal reporting the largest numbers of patients. (Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

“If someone has traveled to an area where they have been exposed to someone or identified as a close contact of someone who may have monkeypox, they really should reach out to their physician or nurse practitioner, and we can work together to try to make sure they have either treatment if they’re having symptoms or get the vaccine to have as a post-exposure prophylaxis,” Morrison said. 

Morrison said this is the first time monkeypox has been in Canada, and health authorities across the country are releasing as much information as they can to the public to abate worry.

“There’s certainly lots of information that you have good access to that they’re trying to put out nationally and through community groups and through our providers,” she said. “Even the guidance that we’ve sent out to our providers here will evolve and change as we learn more and and also respond to the situation.”

“In Toronto and Montreal, for instance, where the numbers are larger, they’re responding in a slightly different way. But we will be certainly paying attention over the next weeks and months.”

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Peel Region reports its first confirmed case of monkeypox – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Peel Region has its first confirmed case of monkeypox.

According to Peel Public Health, the person infected is an adult male in his 30s who lives in Mississauga.

The heath unit said the risk to the public remains low.

Monkeypox, which comes from the same virus family as smallpox, spreads though close contact with an infected individual. Most transmission happens through close contact with the skin lesions of monkeypox, but the virus can also be spread by large droplets or by sharing contaminated items.

To reduce risk of infection, people are advised to be cautious when engaging in intimate activities with others. Vaccination is available for high-risk contacts of cases and for those deemed at high risk of exposure to monkeypox.

Symptoms can include fever, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash/lesions, which could appear on the face or genitals and then spread to other areas.

Anyone who develops these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider and avoid close contact with others until they have improved and rash/lesions have healed.

While most people recover on their own without treatment, those who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for monkeypox should self-monitor for symptoms, and contact PPH to see if they are eligible for vaccination.

The Mississauga case is at least the 34th confirmed case of the disease in Ontario, with dozens more under investigation.

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Monkeypox case count rises to more than 3400 globally, WHO says – The Globe and Mail

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More than 3,400 confirmed monkeypox cases and one death were reported to the World Health Organization as of last Wednesday, with a majority of them from Europe, the agency said in an update on Monday.

WHO said that since June 17, 1,310 new cases were reported to the agency, with eight new countries reporting monkeypox cases.

Monkeypox is not yet a global health emergency, WHO ruled last week, although WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was deeply concerned about the outbreak.

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Sudbury news: Northern agencies highlight national HIV testing day | CTV News – CTV News Northern Ontario

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Monday was national HIV testing day. Officials say this year’s theme surrounds how getting tested is an act of self-care.

From clinics to self-testing kits, groups in the north say there are many options to get tested and everyone should use whichever way works best for them.

Just more than a year ago, Reseau Access Network in Sudbury teamed with Ready to Know and Get a Kit, groups that provide HIV self-testing kits at a pickup location.

Officials said it has been a huge success.

“We get a consistent number throughout each month and I can’t really divulge those figures, unfortunately, but as part of the overall study I can tell you the pickup of self-tests is a fraction of the amount of tests being ordered,” said Angel Riess, of Reseau Access Network.

“There’s actually a lot of tests being shipped to homes directly but I can confirm that they have been active and there’s a significant number of people who have chosen to engage in both programs.”

Elsewhere, the Aids Committee of North Bay and Area held a point-of-care testing clinic to mark the day.

“It’s an opportunity for us to remind everyone that getting tested is essential. If you don’t know you have HIV, you can’t take the steps to try to mitigate the possibility of spread,” said executive director Stacey Mayhall.

In addition to stopping the spread, knowing whether you are positive sooner rather than later can allow for a better quality of life.

“HIV is not a death sentence that it used to be,” said Riess.

“There have been advances in testing and medication and people can live long, healthy lives living with HIV.”

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