February 2, 2023

Canada issues Level 2 travel advisory as monkeypox continues its global spread


Colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox virus particles (green) cultivated and purified from cell culture. Image date – May 24, 2022.
Source – National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), CC SA 2.0.

Canada’s public health agency (PHAC) has issued a travel notice as the monkeypox virus continues to spread globally.

CBC Canada News is reporting that the Canadian government has issued a Level 2 travel health notice to encourage people traveling outside the country to take extra precautions.

In the Level 2 advisory, the health agency says travelers could find themselves subjected to isolation or other measures to limit the spread of the virus. It also warns that those who leave the country could have limited access to appropriate care if they become ill and could face delays returning home.

“Clusters of monkeypox cases have been reported in several countries internationally, outside of areas in Central and West Africa where cases are normally found,” the Tuesday release from PHAC said. “During your travel, you may be subject to procedures at your destination put in place to limit the spread of monkeypox, such as isolation, should you become infected.”

Global News noted that the travel advisory did not mention any specific countries, however, the monkeypox virus has spread to 29 nonendemic countries in the past month. including the UK. Australia and the United States.

Monkeypox is usually endemic to Central and West African countries, but the recent outbreaks across Europe, North America, and Australia have raised fears of increased community spread.

“PHAC is working closely with international, provincial, and territorial health partners to gather information on this evolving issue,” the agency said.

To date Canada, Quebec has reported 90 cases of monkeypox and administered 813 vaccine doses. Five cases have also been found in Ontario and one in Alberta.

An additional case has been detected in British Columbia and has been confirmed by the BC Centre for Disease Control but is awaiting further confirmation from the National Microbiology Laboratory.

“Anyone, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, could get infected and spread the virus if they come into close contact, including intimate sexual contact with an infected person or a contaminated object,” Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said in a briefing last Friday.