First Monkeypox Confirmed In N.B.

Health officials in New Brunswick have confirmed the province’s first case of monkeypox.

In a news release issued Friday evening, New Brunswick Public Health said the individual is currently in isolation and is being monitored.

“New Brunswickers should know that monkeypox virus spreads by close contact with infected humans or animals and does not spread like COVID-19,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health.

“The general public is not at a similar level of risk but should still be aware of how to reduce their personal risk.”

Officials said the person had not travelled outside of the province, so contact tracers are working to determine the source of the infection and identify close contacts.

Public Health is notified of and follows up on any presumptive cases of monkeypox. Cases are confirmed by the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, M.B.

Officials said they are working with the Public Health Agency of Canada and associated partners to ensure that additional vaccines are available.

According to the World Health Organization, the smallpox vaccine was about 85 per cent effective in preventing monkeypox.

Based on the available supply, the department will offer vaccines to close contacts of a confirmed case.

Data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the majority of monkeypox cases in Canada are men who report intimate sexual contact with other men.

Having multiple sexual partners may increase a person’s overall risk of infection.

“However, it’s important to stress that the risk of exposure to the monkeypox virus is not exclusive to any group or setting,” read a statement issued by New Brunswick Public Health.

New Brunswick Public Health says confirmed cases of Monkeypox will be reported on a dedicated website, which can be found here.

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