Quebec health authorities say 52 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in the province

MONTREAL – Quebec’s health ministry says 52 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in the province.

Health officials said in a tweet late Wednesday that the number of confirmed cases was as of Tuesday, up from 25 cases reported a week earlier.

Monkeypox is a rare disease that comes from the same family of viruses that causes smallpox, which the World Health Organization declared eradicated worldwide in 1980.

Monkeypox does not usually spread easily between people and is spread by prolonged close contact via respiratory droplets, direct contact with broken skin or bodily fluids, or through contaminated clothing or bedding.

Health authorities say people suspected of having the virus, as well as those living under the same roof, should self-isolate.

They should also wear a mask, cover their lesions, and avoid sharing clothing, bedding, or utensils with others.

The province last week began administering doses of the Imvamune smallpox vaccine, reserved for close contacts at high risk of developing the disease.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on June 1, 2022.

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Joan J. Holland