Has the rare African monkeypox arrived in Canada?

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May 19, 2022 at 8:36 pm

MONTREAL — Public health authorities in Montreal will provide an update today on the suspected presence of monkeypox in the city.

Dr. Mylène Drouin, the city’s public health director, and Dr. Geneviève Bergeron, the medical officer for health emergencies and infectious diseases, will speak at 11 a.m.

On Wednesday, Radio-Canada reported that numerous possible cases were under investigation in the city.

Monkeypox is typically limited to Africa, and rare cases in the United States and elsewhere are usually linked to travel there. A small number of confirmed or suspected cases have been reported this month in the United Kingdom, Portugal and Spain.

On Wednesday, health officials in Massachusetts reported a monkeypox case in a man who had recently travelled to Canada, with health officials trying to determine if it’s connected to the small outbreaks in Europe.

The man was in Canada at the end of April to meet friends and returned in early May.

Monkeypox typically begins with a flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes, followed by a rash on the face and body. In Africa, people have been infected through bites from rodents or small animals, and it does not usually spread easily among people.

Monkeypox comes from the same family of viruses as smallpox. Most people recover from monkeypox within weeks, but the disease is fatal for up to 1 in 10 people, according to the World Health Organization.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 19, 2022.

— With files from The Associated Press.

The Canadian Press

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