Montreal public health confirms monkeypox case involving child

·1 min read
The case appears to be the first in Canada to involve a child. (HO-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/The Canadian Press - image credit)
The case appears to be the first in Canada to involve a child. (HO-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Montreal public health officials have confirmed that a child has contracted monkeypox.

A spokesperson for the city's public health department says the case involves a child four years old or younger. 

The case tested positive by PCR twice at the Quebec Public Health Laboratory.

The agency did not provide any details on the case or the child's condition out of privacy concerns for the child, though they say "all necessary interventions to protect the health of the population have been implemented."

"This is the first reported case of monkeypox in Canada in a child [under nine-years-old] so obviously it remains a very rare occurrence," said Dr. Jesse Papenburg, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at the Montreal Children's Hospital.

"I wouldn't say that parents need to be concerned. But I think parents need to be aware of the fact that there is monkeypox circulating now in North America and that really any child that presents with a rash, especially if it's accompanied by a fever, should be evaluated by a physician."

As of today, Quebec is reporting a total of 493 monkeypox cases in the province.

In its last update Friday, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported 1,228 cases spread across nine provinces, with 35 hospitalizations and no deaths.

Monkeypox spreads when people have close, physical contact with an infected person's lesions, their clothing or bedsheets, and symptoms can also include rash, swollen lymph nodes and fever.

The majority of cases among children worldwide have been acquired through contact within the same household, according to Montreal public health officials.

Public health is not expanding the vaccination campaign for the moment, spokesperson Jean Nicolas Dubé told CBC.