Case of monkeypox identified in Alberta

Alberta has identified a case of monkeypox in the province.

In a post on social media Thursday afternoon, chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said one isolated case of the disease has been confirmed in an adult in Alberta.

Monkeypox is a rare disease that can cause fevers, aches and rashes, according to Hinshaw, who added that monkeypox is uncommon and generally considered a low risk to the public at large.

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Hinshaw said in order to protect the patient’s privacy, no identifying information will be released. It’s not known how the person contracted the virus or where in Alberta they reside, but Hinshaw said the person “had close contact with a known case outside the province.”

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Hinshaw said the person is self-isolating, and her team is working with them to investigate and do contact tracing.

“At this time, the risk of further transmission is low,” Hinshaw said.

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Monkeypox is ordinarily found in countries in West and Central Africa with tropical rainforests but recently the disease has been discovered in more than 20 countries including Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, the United States, Israel and Australia. More than 500 cases have been reported. No deaths have been reported.

This is Alberta’s first confirmed case of the disease.

“I would like to remind Albertans that monkeypox does not spread easily between people. Transmission can occur by contact with body fluids, sores or items recently contaminated with fluids or sores,” Hinshaw said.

“While it’s also possible to get sick from respiratory droplets after spending a long time close to an infected person, those at greatest risk are those who have had prolonged close contact with a case.”

Click to play video: 'WHO doesn’t expect monkeypox to turn into another pandemic'

WHO doesn’t expect monkeypox to turn into another pandemic

WHO doesn’t expect monkeypox to turn into another pandemic

Canada’s chief public health officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam said monkeypox can also spread by having direct contact with someone’s contaminated objects, including linens, clothing and other shared objects and surfaces.

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“This includes spread via skin-to-skin or other intimate contact, including sexual activities. The virus can also be transmitted through inhalation of infectious respiratory droplets during close contact,” Tam said on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

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Anyone who believes they may have been in prolonged close contact with someone with monkeypox, or is experiencing symptoms such as fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes is asked to self-isolate and call 811.

“Monkeypox is reportable in Alberta as a rare or emerging communicable disease. We are continuing to investigate the spread of monkeypox with our federal and provincial partners and will regularly assess the situation as it evolves,” Hinsahw said.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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