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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Monkey pox: Australia, Canada report early outbreaks

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.

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