Monkeypox case numbers not disclosed: Yukon government

The Yukon government will not publicly disclose the number of monkey pox cases as the virus begins to hit the country.

In an August 4 release, the Territorial Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sudit Ranade that the Ministry of Health and Social Services will not announce any suspected or confirmed cases of monkey pox, the location of the case and any demographic or identifiable information.

In an emailed statement, a department spokesperson explained that Yukon Communicable Disease Control and the Public Health Agency of Canada have a standardized reporting practice for communicable diseases and confirmed cases of monkeypox are updated on Wednesday and Friday.

Senior Advisor Matt Davidson said when the area’s Disease Control Center and Chief Health Physician are notified of a confirmed case of a communicable disease in the Yukon, “their number one priority is to make contact with the person exposed to determine who else can be exposed, how contacts can be managed and how those affected can be supported.”

“The obligation to publicly report communicable diseases must also be balanced against privacy protection,” Davidson said.

“As appropriate, Yukon Communicable Disease Control and the Chief Medical Officer of Health will inform directly with members or leaders of affected communities or groups who may be at greater risk of exposure for environmental, socioeconomic or health-related reasons.”

On its website, the federal agency is collecting epidemiological information reported by the provinces and territories to determine the national scope of the investigation and identify potential health risks to people in Canada. Counties and territories will report case numbers to the federal agency for inclusion in the national investigation. The federal agency webpage will be updated weekly with the latest case numbers.

The World Health Organization has deemed the monkeypox outbreak in multiple countries a “public health emergency of international concern” after more than 16,000 laboratory-confirmed cases were observed in 75 countries around the world, according to the latest situation report released on July 25. was released.

One case has been confirmed in the area so far, with 889 other cases reported in five provinces as of Aug. 3, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada dashboard.

In the release, Ranade said the department’s public health department and the area’s disease control center are working with the health system and partners to raise awareness of Yukoners about the risk factors associated with monkeypox, perform routine case and contact management, and provide people with care. of the latest information on preventing transmission.

“Monkeypox is rarely fatal and usually causes mild illness that resolves within two to four weeks. For some people, symptoms can be challenging to manage, and can include fever, headache, fatigue, sore throat, cough, and a painful skin rash,” said Ranade.

“Educating Yukoners and raising awareness of risk factors is an important part of the area’s prevention strategy. Anyone can be exposed and infected through close skin-to-skin contact, including sexual contact. Monkeypox can also spread through prolonged contact with contaminated surfaces such as bedding or clothing.

The statement indicates that while vaccination will support the area’s response to the disease, the current supply of vaccines is “extremely limited”.

Furthermore, the statement continues, the ability of vaccines to reduce and prevent the transmission of monkeypox remains unknown, and there is limited evidence for using vaccines to reduce symptoms in people who have been exposed or who have risk factors for exposure. .

To reduce the risk of serious illness, some contacts of a known case may be given access to vaccines in the area, depending on the level of exposure.

“Previous reports of the spread of monkey pox in Canada have shown a connection to the gay community, particularly through close skin-to-skin contact between men. However, anyone can be exposed and infected, regardless of their sexuality or gender. At this time, monkeypox is not considered a sexually transmitted infection (STD),” the statement reads.

“Unjustly stigmatizing a group causes harm and can delay infection prevention and control efforts.”

Ranade said stigma will make it more difficult to identify, treat and manage cases.

“If you’re not feeling well, limit close contact with others,” he said.

“If you develop a rash or lesions, avoid any skin-to-skin contact, keep that part of your body covered, and contact your healthcare provider, health center, or the emergency room to be assessed. If you’re not sure, call than 811.”

Contact Dana Hatherly at [email protected]

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