(File Photo)

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is warning British Columbians that someone is using monkeypox in an attempt to scam the public.

In a media release, the BCCDC said there have been reports of scam calls about monkeypox test results or exposures.

The scam starts with an automated call claiming to have test results or exposure information regarding the virus, however, public health say they do not use automated messages to notify individuals of infections or possible exposures.

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Additionally, the centre says it would never ask individuals to provide financial information during contact tracing.

“Public health does not use automated messages to notify individuals of infections or possible exposures (i.e. case and contact tracing),” the BCCDC warned in a news release.

“You will never be asked to provide financial information during case and contact tracing.”

To date, 173 people in British Columbia have tested positive with the monkeypox virus.

Those eligible are encouraged to get vaccinated with a first and second dose of the monkeypox vaccine.

While most, but not all, recent global infections are among men who identify as gay, bisexual, or men who have had sex with other men, the virus can affect anyone through close person-to-person contact.

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

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 crust 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.

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