OTTAWA, May 25 (Xinhua) -- The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) on Wednesday confirmed 16 cases of monkeypox in Canada.
All the cases have been reported in the province of Quebec, PHAC said in a statement, adding that samples are being received for confirmatory testing from multiple jurisdictions.
According to the statement, cases of monkeypox are being identified and treated by local health clinics. There is ongoing planning with provinces and territories to provide access to approved vaccines in Canada that, if required, can be used in managing monkeypox in their jurisdiction.
As a preparedness step, PHAC provided Quebec with a small shipment of Imvamune vaccine from Canada's National Emergency Strategic Stockpile to support their targeted response. Similarly, as warehousing and cold chain operations are confirmed, other jurisdictions will begin receiving limited pre-positioning supply shipments, PHAC said.
Monkeypox is a sylvatic zoonosis that may cause infections in humans and the disease usually occurs in forested parts of Central and West Africa. It is caused by the monkeypox virus which belongs to the orthopoxvirus family, according to the World Health Organization.