Quebec has reached 10,000 vaccinations for monkeypox as the number of cases of the rare disease continues to rise.
The Ministry of Health said Tuesday the number of confirmed cases has gone up to 284, an increase of 36 cases from five days ago.
As of Monday, the ministry stated health-care workers have administered 10,832 doses of the smallpox vaccine, which public health has been offering to combat the outbreak of the monkeypox disease in the province. Monkeypox comes from the same family of viruses that cause smallpox and public health officials say the smallpox vaccine is effective at limiting the virus’ spread.
In Quebec, vaccinations are free and appointments can be made before and immediately after exposure on the province’s booking portal, Clic Santé. In Montreal, two downtown health clinics offer walk-in vaccinations.
Quebec remains the epicentre of the monkeypox outbreak in Canada. Since Quebec was the first province to start vaccinating people, other provinces like B.C. and Ontario have also started rolling out doses to at-risk populations.
Chief public health officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam, said as of July 8 there was a total of 375 confirmed cases across the country, with 101 in Ontario, eight in Alberta, and 18 in British Columbia, in addition to the cases reported in Quebec.
Globally, there have been about 9,200 confirmed cases among 63 countries, according to the World Health Organization, which said Tuesday it is set to convene a second emergency meeting next week to decide whether or not monkeypox should be considered a global health emergency, CNBC reported.
In a statement issued in late June, the WHO declined to declare the outbreak a global emergency. There were about 6,000 cases confirmed globally on July 4. The disease is mild in most cases and so far this year there have been three reported deaths.
According to public health, monkeypox does not spread very easily among people and is believed to be transmitted after prolonged and close contact through respiratory droplets, skin-to-skin contact with lesions or bodily fluids, as well as contaminated clothes and bedding.
People who believe they may have been exposed are advised to monitor for symptoms for 21 days and should limit social interactions during that time.
If symptoms arise, people are asked to wear a face mask and get assessed by a health-care professional.