Experts are urging people planning sex tourism over the weekend at the Montreal Grand Prix to be careful, as cases of monkeypox are still on the rise in Quebec.
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“Yes, that worries me. Monkeypox is known to be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, not just sexual contact. So even condoms, which usually protect against most infectious diseases, don’t really help against this virus,” explains Dr.s Michael Lipman.
This professor in the McGill University Department of Medicine, who specializes in infectious diseases, points out that the risks are mainly with people who will be in Montreal for sex tourism over the weekend in motorsports.
These travelers especially go out with the goal of having sexual relations, paid or not, with multiple partners. In particular, they take advantage of the festivities in the city to fulfill their needs.
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Rise in cases
“Let’s take an infected person who has a lot of unknown contacts, like a sex worker for example, there can be a high risk of spreading the outbreak. Especially since it will be difficult to identify cases of contact, especially with international tourists,” says Dr.s Lipman.
However, the specialist determines that sex workers are not necessarily the most vulnerable at the moment.
It is reported that most of the infected cases are in Montreal and involve men who have same-sex relations.
“But it is a coincidence that monkeypox remains in this community at the moment. It can infect heterosexual couples as well. It only takes one case for it to spread,” warns Professor McGill.
It’s possible we could see a slight increase in cases after this weekend, says Benoit Barbeau, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) who specializes in virology.
“The more people come into contact with each other, the greater the chance of the virus spreading. F1 is one of the events we will be having this summer. We risk seeing a slight increase, but that will not be a nerve center for me,” confirms Mr. Barbeau.
The virologist adds that it will be difficult to determine later whether the infection is linked to the Grand Prix or to other events such as Francophiles, for example, in Montreal.
“At this point, people are aware of the disease. We have started vaccinating at-risk communities as well. I think people have to be vigilant and watch for symptoms,” insists Mr. Barbeau.
Quebec has at least 98 confirmed cases of monkeypox so far.
The Montreal Department of Public Health and the Department of Health and Social Services did not answer our questions about this.
Symptoms to watch out for
- skin lesions in the mouth
- Genital injuries
- night sweats
- muscle pain
The incubation period is two to three days
- The disease is generally mild in the vast majority of those affected.
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