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Health officials confirm 1st case of monkeypox in Vancouver Island region

Risk to general public ‘very low’
This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. On Wednesday, May 18, 2022, Portuguese health authorities confirmed five cases of monkeypox in young men, marking an unusual outbreak in Europe of a disease typically limited to Africa. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP)

One case of monkeypox has been confirmed in the Island Health region.

A release from Island Health late Friday afternoon indicated the person resides in the southern Vancouver Island area, but a specific location was not provided. Confirmation was made through laboratory testing at the BC Centre for Disease Control.

Island Health indicated public health teams are conducting a followup and the risk to the general public is very low, as monkeypox does not generally spread easily between people.

The release stated Island Health’s public health teams received the confirmation on Thursday (July 7). As part of established communicable disease management practice, Island Health is managing contacts identified through contact tracing. Within Island Health, vaccinations are being provided to identified high-risk contacts.

READ MORE: WHO panel: Monkeypox not a global emergency ‘at this stage’

Information about monkeypox:

• Symptoms for monkeypox usually appear one to two weeks after exposure but can take anywhere from five to 21 days to appear.

• The disease can occur in two stages, with flu-like symptoms appearing first, followed by a rash usually with sores/blisters. However, many people only get the rash.

• People are considered to be infectious from when symptoms first appear until the sores crust over, are dry, and new skin is visible.

• Most people with monkeypox have mild symptoms and do not require any specific interventions.

Treatment for monkeypox remains supportive and targeted on symptoms (e.g. fever control, hydration support, treat secondary infections). For information:

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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