There are no cases of smallpox in Nova Scotia, the Minister of Health clarifies There are no cases of smallpox in Nova Scotia, the Minister of Health clarifies

Nova Scotia’s health minister has clarified comments she made in the legislature about cases of monkeypox in the province.

Health Minister Michelle Thompson said Wednesday that the first “couple” of monkeypox cases had been identified in Nova Scotia.

On Thursday, he further explained that both cases involved people who were visiting Nova Scotia and experienced symptoms while there but tested positive in their home province.

“There were a couple of cases identified but they were not people from here. So we don’t actually have our own cases,” Thompson said.

According to Thompson, the two people who tested positive are no longer in the province and there is no evidence of monkeypox spreading in Nova Scotia.

The province did not say how Public Health learned of the two cases, citing “privacy reasons.”

Thompson said there is no risk to Nova Scotians, but medical professionals are still urging people to monitor for symptoms.

“There’s fever and sometimes chills and swollen lymph nodes, headaches,” said the medical officer of health, Dr. Ryan Sommers. “Joint pain, muscle pain and fatigue and then what happens one to five days later is the development of a rash.”

Newfoundland and Labrador reported its first probable case on Thursday, but few details about the case were released.

No cases have been reported in New Brunswick, but contact tracing efforts continue.

“What is the best approach to managing cases and contacts as well as managing the risk of any further spread,” said Dr. Yves Léger, New Brunswick’s deputy medical director of health.

“We’ve also looked at our surveillance to make sure we’re comfortable with existing surveillance, making sure healthcare providers are aware of the need to think about monkeypox.”

In Prince Edward Island, the attitude to anticipating the arrival of monkeypox is that it’s a matter of when, not if.

“Given the way it’s spread across Canada and around the world, it’s likely we’ll see cases at some point,” said director of public health Dr. Eilish Cleary.

Cleary said the best way to prevent a larger outbreak and reduce exposure is to work closely with people who are at the highest risk.

Canada had 745 confirmed cases of monkeypox as of Wednesday, with the majority of cases reported in Quebec and Ontario.

The WHO declared the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency on 23 July.

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