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Monkeypox cases alarm health officials in Canada's Quebec province

Monkeypox cases alarm health officials in Canada's Quebec province
Cases grow to 25, vaccinations to begin Friday

By Barry Ellsworth

TRENTON, Canada (AA) - Health officials said Thursday there are 25 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the Canadian province of Quebec and vaccinations are ready to be administered Friday.

Quebec public health director Luc Boileau said the number of cases has grown to 25 from the 16 reported Wednesday by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

"It's a serious outbreak of monkeypox," said Boileau. "There are other cases, probably 20 to 30 cases, that are under investigation so far."

Quebec is ready to vaccinate people Friday who have come into close contact with those diagnosed with monkeypox. The cases had all been confined to Quebec but on Wednesday, there were two suspected cases and another two probable ones in Toronto.

"The recommendation is to give it (vaccination) four days post-exposure with some flexibility up to 14 days," Dr. Caroline Quach, a microbiologist and infectious disease expert as Sainte-Justine Hospital, told The Canadian Press.

"If the contact has been continuous or intermittent, we're giving a window period of four days after the last exposure."

Monkeypox is a virus that is similar to smallpox and can be spread from one human to another by contact, and to humans by animals like rats.

While it is less serious than smallpox and it usually goes away on its own, the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) said that in Africa, where the disease is usually found, it "cause(s) death in as many as one in 10 persons who contract the disease."

The CDC said symptoms include fever, headache and swollen lymph nodes, progressing within one to three days to a rash "beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body."

There have been more than 250 cases worldwide in 16 countries, according to the National Geographic.

source: News Feed
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