Nova Scotia

Health minister says Nova Scotia has no active monkeypox cases

Nova Scotia Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson says cases she previously referenced were not residents of the province.

Cases previously detected were not residents, have been contained

A monkeypox virus particle is seen in this coloured transmission electron micrograph. (U.K. Health Security Agency/Science Photo Library)

Nova Scotia Health Minister Michelle Thompson says there are no active monkeypox cases in the province that she is aware of as of Thursday.

On Wednesday, Thompson said during Question Period that cases had been found, but that they were contained and there is no outbreak.

On Thursday, Thompson told reporters at Province House that following an update she's learned the cases she referenced the day before were not residents of Nova Scotia.

"We don't actually have our own cases," she said.

Nova Scotia Health Minister Michelle Thompson speaks to reporters at Province House on Thursday. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC)

Citing concerns about patient privacy, Thompson referred further questions to Public Health.

"Public Health are experts in surveillance and so those surveillance systems that we have in place will capture folks, you know, if they develop monkeypox and we will respond appropriately with contact tracing and making sure people are treated."

Health officials have said the virus is not sexually transmitted but is mainly spread by prolonged face-to-face contact and respiratory droplets. It is also spread by open sores, contact with bodily fluids or by touching contaminated clothes or bedding. 

Limited vaccine supply

Thompson said on Wednesday that all contacts of the known cases have been traced. She didn't say how many cases had been detected.

The monkeypox vaccine is available in Nova Scotia, but there are strict criteria for who is able to get it.

The vaccine is being reserved for people who are at highest risk of infection, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Wellness told CBC News last week.

Those infected with monkeypox can feel like they have the flu, with symptoms like fever, headache, swelling of the lymph nodes and muscle aches. They may also develop painful rashes and lesions.

With files from Michael Gorman