Plans underway to monitor Canadian sewage for monkeypox, polio traces: Tam

Canada's chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam explained Friday why, unlike the U.S., the country has not declared monkeypox an emergency, saying it had mechanisms already in place to tackle the outbreak. She said unlike the U.S., there's a different approach in terms of accessing authorities and funding in Canada and provinces are able to declare crises or emergencies at their own levels.

Canada‘s chief public health officer says plans are underway to sift through Canadian sewage to test for and measure new health threats like monkeypox and polio.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic wastewater detection became a key way to track the spread of the virus.

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Canada hasn’t needed to declare monkeypox an emergency, top doctor says. Here’s why

Dr. Theresa Tam says the experts at the National Microbiology Lab have now discovered a promising approach to detect monkeypox in wastewater and will use the infrastructure developed during the pandemic look for it.

How that monitoring fits into the Public Health Agency of Canada surveillance efforts on monkeypox is not yet clear.

The Public Health Agency of Canada also intends to start testing for polio as soon as possible after United States health officials say they found the polio virus in New York City‘s wastewater.

Tam says wastewater detection is still imperfect but there’ is a lot of innovation happening now and the public health agency is looking for the best method to help standardize the process in Canada.

 

– With files from The Associated Press

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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