In a media release Friday morning, Island Health confirmed the fourth case of monkeypox on Vancouver Island.

According to the release, there are now 61 cases of monkeypox in British Columbia, including three cases in Fraser Health, 54 in Vancouver Coastal Health and four in Island Health. 

There are currently no cases in Interior Health nor Northern Health.

Local public health authorities are following up via contact tracing with people who have been exposed.

The announcement comes after the first case of monkeypox was confirmed on Vancouver Island earlier this month.

The health authority said the risk to the general public is very low, and reiterated that Monkeypox does not generally spread easily between people.

Symptoms for monkeypox usually appear one to two weeks after exposure, but can take anywhere from five to 21 days to appear.

The disease can occur in two stages, with flu-like symptoms appearing first, followed by a rash usually with sores/blisters. However, many people only get the rash.

People are considered to be infectious from when symptoms first appear until the sores have crusted over, are dry, and new skin is visible.

Island Health said most people with monkeypox have mild symptoms and do not require any specific interventions.

Vaccinations are being provided to high-risk contacts identified through contact tracing.

Health Canada has made a limited amount of smallpox vaccine, which is also effective against monkeypox (Imvamune) , available through the BC Centre for Disease Control. 

To date, B.C. has received 14,480 doses of vaccine for outbreak control, including post-exposure prophylaxis. Vaccines are ordered weekly and all doses are distributed to health authorities for administration. 

As of July 25, 7,200 vaccine doses were administered to high-risk people.

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