The smallpox vaccine, which was administered to Canadians born before 1972, protects against monkeypox. Smallpox was eradicated in 1977.
Montreal public health director Dr. Mylène Drouin and Dr. Geneviève Bergeron, who is responsible for health emergencies and infectious diseases, will meet with reporters in the wake of a Radio-Canada report on Wednesday saying that numerous cases of the disease had been diagnosed in the city.
Monkeypox is a rare viral illness that typically begins with such symptoms as fever, headache, backache and fatigue, then progresses to a rash on the face and body. The Public Health Agency of Canada says the swelling or enlargement of lymph nodes that accompanies monkeypox distinguishes it from smallpox.
The incubation period is seven to 17 days and most infections of monkeypox last two to four weeks, it says.
The agency notes that the smallpox vaccine, which was routinely administered to Canadians born before 1972, protects against monkeypox. Smallpox was eradicated in 1977.
Thursday’s briefing comes as Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported Wednesday that it had confirmed the first U.S. case of monkeypox virus infection of 2022. The individual is an adult male who recently travelled to Canada. The agency didn’t indicate what province or provinces the individual visited and did not respond to questions.