Australia confirmed the first case of monkeypox on Friday in New South Wales (South East), and Canada detected its first two cases in the eastern province of Quebec.
“NSW [New South Wales] Health has identified a probable case of monkeypox in a recently returned traveler to Europe,” the NSW health authority said in a statement.
The infection has been found in a 40-year-old man, who experienced mild symptoms several days after arriving in Sydney, according to the statement.
He visited a doctor with symptoms compatible with monkeypox, and urgent testing detected a probable case of the disease. The man is now quarantined at home.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is conducting a probe together with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to “investigate potential exposure and contacts of a case of monkeypox recently identified in the US,” as the suspected patient has recently arrived in Canada from the US.
“Tonight [May 19], the Province of Quebec was notified that two samples received by the NML [National Microbiology Laboratory] have tested positive for monkeypox. These are the first two cases confirmed in Canada,” the PHAC said in a statement.
The UK Health Security Agency was the first health authority in Europe to publicly report a case of monkeypox on May 7, in a patient who recently traveled from Nigeria. Since then, cases of monkeypox have also been confirmed in Portugal, Spain, France, and the US.
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease transmitted to humans from animals, with lethality ranging from 1% to 10%. The disease does not spread easily among people, but it may have complications.