Federal, Provincial and Territorial Public Health Response Plan for the Management of the Monkeypox Outbreak

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Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada

Date published: 2022-09-06

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Context

Monkeypox is a viral infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus of the Poxviridae family.

In May 2022, a number of monkeypox cases were reported in countries where the disease is not typically found, including in Canada. These cases were spread (transmitted) from person to person. On July 23, 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) director-general declared the global monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

The Government of Canada, including the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and other federal government departments, is working with provinces and territories (PTs) and Indigenous partners to monitor and respond to the outbreak of monkeypox in Canada. These efforts have led to the ongoing detection of new cases across the country, the identification of people who may be at higher risk, and the development of a federal, provincial and territorial public health response plan for the management of monkeypox to address the outbreak.

Goal and objectives

The Federal, Provincial and Territorial (F/P/T) Public Health Response Plan for the Management of Monkeypox ("the plan") takes a whole-of-Canada approach to controlling the disease while still reflecting the respective responsibilities of each level of government. Driven by the goal of containing the outbreak, the plan and its actions support the following F/P/T objectives in response to the monkeypox outbreak:

Guiding principles

Canada's response to the monkeypox outbreak is based on existing plans and guidance related to public health events and pandemic preparedness and builds on lessons learned from past public health emergencies. It is further guided by the following principles:

The plan was developed with the following assumptions:

Key areas of focus

Guided by the temporary recommendations of the WHO director-general in relation to the multi-country outbreak of monkeypox, the key areas of focus for the plan and related actions are outlined below, as are general descriptions of activities undertaken to prevent further human-to-human transmission.

Key areas of focus for the plan and related actions
Area of focus Related action
Coordinated communication and response Activate the Federal, Provincial, Territorial (F/P/T) Special Advisory Committee (SAC) on Monkeypox to help ensure coordinated action
Public health measures and guidance for domestic and international travel Make recommendations for public health authorities and the public for preventing monkeypox transmission
Surveillance, reporting, and laboratory capacity Establish surveillance and reporting systems for monkeypox
Clinical management and infection prevention and control Support health care partners involved in identifying and managing the disease, for example, by increasing their laboratory capacity
Medical countermeasures Support the distribution of vaccines and drugs for treating monkeypox
New scientific evidence generation and monitoring Develop plans to ensure research related to monkeypox is supported

Coordinated communication and response

Public health responses to the monkeypox outbreak from F/P/T governments for their respective populations are coordinated through the activation of the Federal, Provincial, Territorial (F/P/T) Special Advisory Committee (SAC) on Monkeypox and involve various stakeholder groups in pursuit of the following objectives:

Public health measures and guidance for domestic and international travel

To help minimize the risk of onward transmission and support the management of cases, the F/P/T public health response is working through SAC to engage other government departments and relevant expert groups to develop and communicate public health guidance and information, including:

Surveillance, reporting and laboratory capacity

The collective F/P/T public health response includes increasing surveillance, reporting on the situation in Canada, and enhancing laboratory capacity by:

Clinical management and infection prevention and control

The F/P/T public health response for clinical management and infection prevention and control includes:

Medical countermeasures

The collective F/P/T public health response includes:

New scientific evidence generation and monitoring

The collective F/P/T public health response to monkeypox is evidence-informed and grounded in science. In order to increase the foundation of knowledge and scientific evidence to guide decision making, the following approaches will be considered:

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