Over 500 Quebecers vaccinated against monkeypox so far: health officials

As monkeypox cases rise, just over 500 Quebecers have been vaccinated against the virus, according to public health officials.

“We’re vaccinating in a very targeted way. So we vaccinated people that had high-risk exposure in the last 14 days,” said Dr. Genevieve Bergeron, Montreal’s medical officer responsible for health emergencies and infectious diseases.

The majority of Quebec cases are in Montreal. According to Bergeron, the city has reported 82 cases, although not all of them have been officially confirmed.

Canada’s first two confirmed cases were detected on May 26 in Quebec, which remains the province with the highest number of cases. 

Although monkeypox is not classified as a sexually-transmitted disease, Bergeron said most of the province’s current cases have spread through sexual contact.

“We’re seeing the chain of transmission mainly in social networks in men who have sex with men,” said Bergeron.

According to the World Health Organization, monkeypox is transmitted through close contact with an infected uindividual. Transmission between people is thought to primarily occur through large respiratory droplets, which generally do not travel far and would require extended close contact. However, the virus can also be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, as well as contact with infected material and surfaces.

Bergeron said anyone who believes they may have monkeypox should self-isolate and notify those they’ve been in contact with.

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, swollen lymph nodes and sores.

With files from CTV’s Vanessa Lee

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