Measures needed to limit cases of monkeypox, experts say

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Measures needed to limit cases of monkeypox, experts say

Detection Fast tracking of cases and contact tracing are key measures to limit the spread.

Canada should also expect an increase in cases of monkeypox, but we should not fear an explosion of infections that would clog hospitals, especially if adequate measures are taken quickly, according to specialists.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cases have tripled in two weeks in Europe.

Thursday, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) identified 278 cases, including 67 in Ontario and 202 in Quebec, the most affected province.

It is a transmissible infection. It's not COVID-19; it's not as transmissible as COVID-19, says Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at Toronto General Hospital.

Dr. Sharon Walmsley, from the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, agrees that cases are not growing exponentially as they did with COVID, but the virus is still spreading rapidly .

Dr. Sharon Walmsley points out that there has not been much research on monkeypox and human-to-human transmission.

“We are worried and we want to make sure we have control measures in place to try to prevent this from developing into a massive outbreak or pandemic.

— Dr. Sharon Walmsley, Principal Investigator at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute

According to the two researchers, a public health strategy and measures are needed to avoid a rapid deterioration of the situation.

These must include rapid diagnostics and contact tracing, so that those affected are placed in isolation as soon as possible, in order to limit transmission. Canada needs more antivirals and vaccine doses, says Dr Walmsley.

Dr Isaac Bogoch doesn't think monkeypox will quickly disappear.

Dr. Bogoch talks about the importance of vaccinating people who are most at risk, but also those who have been exposed, to protect them from the virus or at least reduce their symptoms.

However, the tools available to doctors may have limits. The vaccine given was developed for smallpox, a different disease.

Monkeypox is endemic in countries in Africa, but there were no previous outbreaks in areas where it is not endemic. It was a neglected virus , notes Sharon Walmsley. There has been no research conducted and, as a result, we have no antivirals and vaccines that we can say with certainty will be effective. She believes that research efforts must be redoubled.

Right now, men who have sex with men account for the vast majority of cases in Canada. Isaac Bogoch believes in respectful communication and involving this community in public health efforts.

“That’s how you build trust and come up with a smart strategy to fight an outbreak.

— Dr. Isaac Bogoch, Infectious Diseases Specialist at Toronto General Hospital

Poxpox: Symptoms and ManagementPublic Health Canada]

Dr. Walmsley warns that we must remain vigilant, that monkeypox could very well be found in other groups, such as women and children: If this happens, may the infection be transmitted in the general population, then it will be even more difficult to contain it.

Skin lesions can take two or even three weeks to heal.

People should isolate themselves for at least two weeks, until the skin lesions have healed.

If you really want people to come in for testing, to make sure they get the care they need and to be able to do contact tracing and notify those who have exposed, they will need to be supported while they self-isolate, Dr. Bogoch believes.

Everyone has to eat, pay the rent or the mortgage: think offer support, or else, he fears, some will be reluctant to get diagnosed.

With information from Andréane Williams

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