Health, Americas

Canadian health official calls for 'urgent global response' to monkeypox

Cases hit 745 in Canada as virus spreads across country

Barry Ellsworth   | 27.07.2022
Canadian health official calls for 'urgent global response' to monkeypox

TRENTON, Canada

Canada's top health official said Wednesday that an "urgent global response" is needed to combat monkeypox. 

"Our understanding of this virus is still evolving, and this declaration makes clear that the situation requires urgent global response," Theresa Tam said at a news conference.

Confirmed cases hit 745 in Canada as of Wednesday and the World Health Organization declared the virus a public health emergency last weekend.

The highest number of cases in Canada are in the two most populated provinces --- with 346 in Quebec and 326 in Ontario. British Columbia reported 58 cases on the west coast, 12 in Alberta, two in Saskatchewan and one in the northern territory in Yukon.

Overall measures are needed to combat monkeypox but it is particularly of concern to men who have intimate contact with other males.

"What we need right now is actually those in the highest risk groups, including gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men, take up the vaccine in order to protect themselves and others," said Tam. “The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends practicing safer sex, having fewer sexual partners, particularly anonymous partners, even when they don’t have symptoms, can also reduce your risk of getting infected.”

Tam urged provincial governments to implement financial support so that those who are infected could remain home and be isolated from others.

The federal government has stepped up with more than 70,000 doses of the smallpox vaccine -- used to deter monkeypox -- given to provinces and 27,000 doses have been administered.

“While the global monkeypox outbreak is a serious concern, there is optimism that by focusing efforts in Canada and worldwide, we can seize this window of opportunity to contain the spread,” said Tam.

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