Manitoba Health announced on Friday, August 19, 2022, that the first case of monkeypox has been confirmed in the province.
Public health officials are not releasing any information surrounding the case out of fear of identifying the individual but will be providing notification to close contacts and to specific locations if the risk to others is considered high and contacts are unknown. Officials believe that the individual likely acquired the virus outside the province.
Although monkeypox can be transmitted to anyone, so far infections have been primarily in people who self-identify as being gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM). A preventative vaccination is available to these individuals who also meet at least one of the following criteria.
- have received a diagnosis of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and or syphilis in the past two months;
- have had two or more sexual partners in the last 21 days;
- have attended locations for sexual contact (e.g. bath houses or sex clubs) or are planning to;
- have had anonymous sex in the past 21 days or are planning to; or
- engage in sex work or plan to, either as a worker or a client.
In Manitoba, 168 doses have been administered to eligible people as of August 14, 2022.
Preventive immunization for eligible people can be booked using the online booking tool at https://patient.petal-health.com/login?groupId=6032beginning. People who do not have internet access can call Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 for assistance booking appointments.