Update on monkeypox in Canada - May 25, 2022
May 25, 2022 | Ottawa, ON | Public Health Agency of Canada
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is issuing this statement to provide an update to the evolving epidemiological investigation into monkeypox cases in Canada. PHAC is working closely with Canada's Chief Medical Officers of Health to ensure collaboration and coordination on the Government of Canada's strategic response to address this situation. Canada is taking immediate action, including providing advice on public health measures; developing infection, prevention, and control guidance (including advice on isolation of cases); assisting with laboratory testing, sequencing, and guidance to provinces and territories; and initiating vaccine supply arrangements with jurisdictions.
Today, PHAC is confirming a total of 16 cases of monkeypox to date in Canada. All cases have been reported in the province of Quebec. The NML is continuing to receive samples for confirmatory testing from multiple jurisdictions, and will continue to support provinces and territories with testing in their ongoing investigations.
At this time, cases of monkeypox are being identified and treated by local health clinics. There is ongoing planning with provinces and territories to provide access to approved vaccines in Canada that, if required, can be used in managing monkeypox in their jurisdiction. As a preparedness step, PHAC provided Quebec with a small shipment of Imvamune vaccine from Canada's National Emergency Strategic Stockpile (NESS) to support their targeted response. Similarly, as warehousing and cold chain operations are confirmed, other jurisdictions will begin receiving limited pre-positioning supply shipments. At this point, and in alignment with international expert assessments, including the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no need for the vaccine to be used for mass immunization. In Canada, experts and health authorities are continuing to investigate the spread of monkeypox and will regularly assess the situation as it evolves.
PHAC is also updating its interim infection, prevention and control (IPC) guidance for use by health care professionals. This updated guidance will be released in the next few days, and is based on the experience of international and domestic partners. It will be further informed by National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI) recommendations in the coming weeks.
Public health partners across the country are collaborating and coordinating closely in light of the arrival of monkeypox in Canada. Federal, provincial and territorial Chief Medical Officers of Health (CMOHs) are meeting regularly to discuss this evolving investigation, and actions for identifying, treating and preventing further illnesses in Canada.
The global understanding of the monkeypox virus is still evolving. To this end, the PHAC NML is performing whole genome sequencing, an enhanced fingerprint analysis, on Canadian samples of monkeypox. This sequencing will help our experts understand the chains of transmission occurring in Canada. Furthermore, Canada is also working closely with international health partners to set the global research agenda for monkeypox at the WHO's upcoming Research and Development Blueprint meeting.
The Government of Canada will continue to work with the provinces and territories to assess the risks to people in Canada, respond to the evolving situation, and continue to provide updates to the public as new information becomes available.
Public Health Agency of Canada
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