Canada confirmed 681 cases of monkeypox across five provinces on Saturday as the global outbreak of the virus was deemed a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Cases are expected to keep rising, according to a statement from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
Read more: WHO declares monkeypox a global health emergency
“PHAC continues to work closely with international, provincial and territorial health partners to gather information on this evolving outbreak and to assess the possible risk of exposure of the monkeypox virus in Canada,” the statement said.
“Canada will continue to work with the WHO and international partners to strengthen the global response to the current monkeypox outbreak.”
Since the beginning of the month in Canada, there has been a doubling of cases to date, the first case in a female and the first cases in Saskatchewan.
Over 70,000 doses of Imvamune, a Health-Canada approved vaccine for immunization against monkeypox, have been distributed to provinces and territories by the federal government to date.
Avoiding close physical contact with someone who is infected or may have been exposed to the virus, maintaining good hand hygiene, and cleaning high-touch surfaces are other ways to help reduce the risk of becoming infected, according to PHAC.
Additionally, PHAC has recommended Canadians practice safe sex and use a condom, while they continue to learn about the virus.
“Having fewer sexual partners, particularly anonymous partners, even when they don’t have symptoms, can also reduce your risk of getting infected,” they said.
Read more: Ottawa to give $1M to reach communities impacted by monkeypox
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