Finally no case of monkeypox in a Quebec child

Monkeypox continues to spread in Quebec, but no child has contracted it, contrary to what Public Health announced ten days ago. “We have determined that an error has occurred at the level of the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg,” explains the DD Caroline Quach-Thanh, President of the Quebec Immunization Committee (CIQ). There are no pediatric cases. »

The DD Quach-Thanh, a microbiologist and infectiologist at Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center (CHU), was alongside acting national director of public health for Quebec, Dr.right Luc Boileau when he informed the media of an infection in a child during his May 26 press conference.

Accompanied by The duty, the Department of Health and Social Services (MSSS) confirms “that the suspected minor case announced at the last press conference on the subject is now invalid”. According to DD Quach-Thanh, the child ended up suffering from chickenpox.

Cases of monkeypox are increasing in Quebec. According to the latest available report, the province has 71, including 67 in Montreal and a few in Montérégie. Men who have sex with other men remain most affected.

Remember that monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted infection. It is transmitted between people through close and prolonged contact with skin lesions, mucous membranes, or respiratory secretions of an infected person.

The disease, which manifests itself in particular through lesions, headaches, fever and great tiredness, heals in most cases within two to four weeks, according to the Montreal regional health department.

The DD Cécile Tremblay, a microbiologist at CHUM, believes Quebec caught the infections “very early”. “From the moment one or two cases are introduced in a particular population, there is a risk that all of those people’s close contacts will be affected,” she said. Chains of transmission arise, which explains why the numbers are increasing. She is not afraid of further spread. “There is no asymptomatic transmission,” she says.

Monkeypox is not as contagious as COVID-19. Its reproductive rate (R0) is between 0.6 and 1 according to D., compared to 10 to 12 for the BA.2 variantD Quach thanh. The President of the CIQ nevertheless expects an increase in cases. “We haven’t necessarily completed limiting transmission yet. »

5000 vaccine doses

Vaccination against monkeypox began in Montreal about a week ago. The vaccine should ideally be given within four days of the last contact with an infected contact.

Between May 30 and June 5, 2022, 516 people received the vaccine, according to the Montreal Regional Department of Health. But “all these people don’t necessarily live in Montreal,” says spokesman Jean-Nicolas Dawn.

Ottawa supplies vaccines to Quebec. “An initial order of 1,000 doses of smallpox vaccine from the federal government has been approved by the DNSP [directeur national de santé publique par intérim]and a second order for 4,000 additional doses, for a total of 5,000 doses in Quebec,” reports MSSS spokesman Robert Maranda.

Starting Tuesday, Montreal medical clinic L’Actuel will start receiving doses of the vaccine, says its president and CEO and founder, Dr.right Rejean Thomas. A nurse conducts the screening and vaccination. The vaccine will also be available “without an appointment”.

L’Actuel counts 19 cases among its clients, including one in a heterosexual man, roommate of an infected person. “I have patients who have been in the sauna,” says Dr.right Thomas. I have several patients that I have seen who do not go to the sauna frequently. Some also didn’t have as many sexual partners. Some had no idea where they had contracted it. »

The Dright Thomas reports that gay men are addicted to crystal meth (crystal meth) have a higher risk of developing the disease. “They have a lot of sex partners,” he says. Does the problem [actuelle] is connected to? It’s too early to tell. »

The doctor hopes that the nurses and doctors at his clinic will soon be able to receive the monkeypox vaccine. “I have twice requested that our staff be vaccinated,” he said. Imagine if one of our nurses contracted the disease. First, we lack staff. Second, when cases come in, it’s a lot of work. It delays the regular “walk-in”. »

The Dright Thomas doesn’t want employees to get sick. In a June 3 update, Montreal Public Health reported three hospitalizations: “two related to a risk of airway obstruction and one related to possible eye damage.”

The West African strain of monkeypox found in Quebec is fatal in only 1% of cases. “But it can leave scars on the skin,” adds the DD Tremble. It’s a disease we don’t want to spread to the general public. »

The DD Quach-Thanh believes that curbing the disease is absolutely necessary. “We really don’t want it to fall into an animal reservoir,” she said. Because once it falls into an animal reservoir, we never get rid of it again. In North America, our prairie dogs are susceptible to it and can become infected and pass it on. [le virus de la variole simienne]. »

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