Canada's top doc encourages safe sex, fewer partners to prevent spread of monkeypox

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OTTAWA — Dr. Theresa Tam says Canadians — especially men who have sex with men — should practice safe sex and reduce the number of partners to reduce the spread of monkeypox in Canada.

The World Health Organization declared the virus a public health emergency of international concern over the weekend.

Tam, the chief public health officer, says there are 745 confirmed cases of the monkeypox reported in Canada and 99 per cent of those affected are men.

She says monkeypox is circulating among men who have intimate contact with other men and that while anyone can be infected, targeted public health measures for gay and bisexual men are needed.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends people with a high-risk exposure to a confirmed or probable case of monkeypox — a close relative of the eradicated smallpox virus — receive a dose of the smallpox vaccine Imvamune.

The federal government has sent more than 70,000 doses of that vaccine to provinces and territories.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2022.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press

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