Canadian health authorities reported Tuesday that they had identified 10 new cases of monkeypox in Quebec, bringing the national total to 15, and they expect additional infections in other provinces.
Monkeypox, detected in recent weeks in Europe and North America, is a rare disease originating in Africa that usually disappears on its own.
“We hope that more cases will be confirmed in the coming days,” said Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, who said more samples were being tested.
He said the federal government had made available the Imvamune vaccine and other drugs stored in the national strategic emergency stockpile.
The first doses of the vaccine were delivered Tuesday in the province of Quebec.
Although there is no specific vaccine for monkeypox, a smallpox vaccine can be used for protection in case of contact.
Canada had confirmed its first two cases last week in the French-speaking province.
Monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by a virus that is transmitted to humans from infected animals, usually rodents.
But the virus was first discovered in 1958 in a group of macaques that were being studied, hence its name, according to Inserm, a leading French medical research institute.
tib / ube / mtp / atm / mas