The first two cases of monkeypox virus infections in Canada were verified by Canada’s public health ministry on Thursday, after authorities in Quebec province announced they were examining 17 suspected cases.
Monkeypox has been recorded in several countries recently, including Portugal and Spain, with a case in the United States identified by Massachusetts public health officials on Wednesday in a man who had just gone to the Canadian province of Quebec.
“Tonight, 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,” in a statement, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) claimed that monkeypox had never been seen in Canada previously.
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that is similar to human smallpox but is milder. It’s most common in western and central Africa. It was first discovered in the 1970s in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the previous decade, the number of cases in West Africa has grown. Fever, headaches, and skin rashes that begin on the face and progress to the rest of the body are among the symptoms.
Earlier on Thursday, health officials in Montreal, Quebec’s largest city, told reporters that there was a link between a case of monkeypox in Massachusetts and a few suspected cases in the Montreal region. According to the PHAC, a US citizen who recently travelled to Canada by private transportation “may have been infected before or during” his visit to Montreal.