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Saskatchewan warns of increased monkeypox risk from ‘anonymous sexual contact’, expands vaccine eligibility

 


Health care providers in Saskatchewan have warned of a high risk of contracting monkeypox from anonymous sexual contact and have not made vaccine eligibility for close contacts or adults over the age of 18 who are considered to be at high risk of exposure. Expanding.

The health chief medical officer told reporters at a news conference on Saturday that monkeypox cases in the state remained low, with only three confirmed so far.

However, Dr. Sakib Shahab says if people meet risk criteria and are concerned, they should call their state’s 811 health line for advice on testing and pre-exposure vaccination. .

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Saskatchewan health officials have issued a news release stating that warnings about monkeypox transmission through anonymous sexual contact are due to recent known cases.

It adds that information reported to Public Health related to travel to and from the state prompted alarm.

Shahab said Saskatchewan wants to do everything it can to prevent a surge in cases.

“I think this risk is destined to change for us in Saskatchewan, with the interplay of travel across Canada in the summer. Well, for the very targeted groups we’ve identified,” Shahab said. said at a press conference.

“We obviously don’t want to see excessive testing, but I think under the right circumstances it’s important to seek testing, precisely because we don’t want to miss a case.”

So far, he said, there have been no cases in Saskatchewan without a documented exposure history. Additional vaccinations were ordered because the state expanded eligibility, he noted.

Monkeypox, which comes from the same virus family that causes smallpox, has been endemic in parts of Central and West Africa for decades and was not known to cause a major epidemic across the continent until May. did.

It causes fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, followed by a rash on the body. It is spread through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, contact with bodily fluids or lesions of an ill person, or exposure to contaminated objects such as bed linen or clothing.

According to Public Health Canada, the majority of domestic cases are among men who report intimate sexual contact with other men. Having multiple sexual partners increases overall risk. It’s possible, but officials say the risk of exposure isn’t limited to specific groups or circumstances.

With the number of monkeypox cases in Canada surpassing 1,000 this week alone, there are early signs that the virus’ rate of spread may be slowing.

This content appears to be provided to Globe by the original communications service. Not edited by Globe staff.

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