Update on mpox in Canada – May 11, 2023
May 11, 2023 | Ottawa, ON | Public Health Agency of Canada
On May 10, 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director General convened the fifth meeting of the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee on the multi-country outbreak of mpox to consider whether mpox still constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The WHO Director General originally declared mpox a PHEIC on July 23, 2022.
The WHO Director General considered the advice offered by the Committee and determined that mpox no longer constitutes a PHEIC. In addition, the WHO Director General issued this advice as temporary recommendations under the IHRs.
Informed by the latest science and evidence, the Government of Canada continues to work with provinces, territories and international partners to actively monitor the mpox situation in Canada and globally to mitigate the impacts of this virus.
Since the beginning of the mpox outbreak, the Government of Canada has taken swift action to protect the health and safety of people in Canada. Examples of work efforts include developing infection, prevention, and control guidance, as well as providing laboratory testing, sequencing, supporting research, and guidance to provinces and territories, establishing public health surveillance to monitor outbreak trends, engaging with community-based organizations, and deploying vaccines and treatments to provinces and territories. Efforts continue with provincial/territorial partners to increase vaccine uptake across Canada for those most at risk of mpox.
Although the WHO Director General determined the current mpox situation is no longer a PHEIC, the Government of Canada recognizes that mpox is still circulating globally. The ongoing management of mpox relies on continued vigilance for re-emergence of cases and a variety of public health measures. This includes appropriate and tailored public health education about mpox, equipping the public to make informed choices, including about vaccination and how they can reduce the risk of mpox.
Since May 2022, the Government of Canada has deployed over 150,000 doses of vaccine and over 165 treatment courses of therapeutics. At this time, vaccines will continue to be available for provinces and territories for those at higher risk, including second doses of Imvamune®.
People in Canada are reminded that they can help reduce the risk of getting or spreading mpox by:
- receiving two doses of the Imvamune® vaccine for people with the highest risk of mpox such as people with multiple sexual partners, particularly men who have reported sexual contact with other men.
- staying home and limiting contact with others if you have symptoms of mpox, or as recommended by your health care provider.
- delay your travel if you have any symptoms of mpox or have been diagnosed with mpox.
- Maintaining good hand hygiene and cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces and objects in your home, especially after having visitors.
To lower the risk of getting and spreading the virus, PHAC recommends that people use barrier protection during sexual activity, such as condoms and dental dams, and practise safer sex. Additional ways to reduce risk may include having fewer sexual partners, particularly those who are anonymous, regardless of whether they have symptoms.
Public Health Agency of Canada
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