Alberta has now confirmed four cases of monkeypox. The province’s chief medical officer, Dr. Dina Hinshaw, made the announcement during a COVID-19 press conference on Thursday.
“These adult individuals are self-isolating, and I want to express my appreciation for their assistance with contact tracing and investigation,” she said.
Monkeypox is spread by skin-to-skin contact, or by touching things contaminated with the virus, such as clothing or bedding.
Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, swollen glands, sores or rash.
Hinshaw said people who show symptoms of monkeypox should isolate and call 811.
“These are common symptoms and most people with these symptoms will have another cause. However, being aware of these symptoms is especially important for people who have a new sexual partner,” Hinshaw said.
Hinshaw notes that most monkeypox cases recorded around the world are in the homosexual community. She says Alberta Health has contacted organizations throughout the province that serve the LGBTQ2S+ community to provide them with information.
“This is not being done to embarrass or stigmatize anyone, and it is not meant to imply that anyone who has had monkeypox or has been in contact has done anything wrong,” she said.
Rob Brovatzke is the co-owner of Evolution Wonderlounge, a gay bar in downtown Edmonton. He says he was surprised to receive an email about monkeypox from Alberta Health earlier this week.
“I wrote back and asked if it was going to all the nightclubs or if it was just going to gay bars and I haven’t heard anything yet,” he told Nation World News on Thursday.
“If monkeypox is contagious by certain behaviors, it should go everywhere. We’re certainly not the only nightclub where people are going to hook up.
Nation World News asked Hinshaw about Brovatzke’s concerns during Thursday’s press conference.
“I’m very sorry that that particular fact sheet did this, that was certainly not the intention,” she said. “We attempted to obtain feedback from multiple organizations regarding words and language, and did our best to balance the need for the timely dissemination of accurate information with consultations from multiple representative groups.”
Browtzke worries that tying monkeypox to the gay community will reinforce harmful stereotypes.
“If people already have a tendency to think that gay sex or gay people are dirty or disease carriers, it’s going to reinforce that kind of harmful ignorance,” he said. “And that is happening during Gaurav Month, is amazing. I’m on ‘Government!’ I am like
“We continue to engage with organizations and welcome their feedback and if there are ways we can talk about this in a way that provides accurate information about risk factors so that people don’t stigmatize their Health Control, we fully welcome that response,” Hinshaw said.
He said that the risk of monkeypox in Alberta remains low.