Australia says man who returned from Europe likely has monkeypox

A man in his 40s developed the illness, characterized by a characteristic rash, days after returning to Sydney.

Australian authorities have identified a probable case of monkeypox in a man who recently returned from Europe, as Canada confirmed its first two cases, amid a growing outbreak of the rare disease in non-endemic countries.

The man in his 40s developed a mild illness days after returning to Sydney, showing symptoms clinically consistent with monkeypox, the New South Wales (NSW) state health department said. ). The man and a family contact isolate themselves at home.

Canada reported its first two confirmed cases of monkeypox on Thursday evening.

“Tonight, the province of Quebec was notified that two samples received by the NML (National Microbiology Laboratory) tested positive for monkeypox. These are the first two confirmed cases in Canada,” the Public Health Agency of Canada said in a statement.

Seventeen other suspected cases are being investigated in Montreal, Quebec’s largest city, authorities said.

Cases of monkeypox have been identified in several non-endemic countries in Europe and North America this month after the UK notified the World Health Organization of a case in early May.

Health authorities suspect some of the infections may have occurred through sexual contact – in this case among gay or bisexual men – with four of the UK cases identified among people who visited sexual health clinics after developing the associated rash at monkeypox.

The disease was first reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1970s and occurs mainly in West and Central Africa. Similar to human smallpox, but milder, its symptoms include fever, headache, and rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Patients usually recover within a few weeks.

NSW health officials have taken steps to identify and manage any potential cases of monkeypox, including clinical alerts to doctors and hospitals across the state, said NSW Health Director Kerry Chant.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted on Wednesday that anyone “can spread monkeypox through contact with bodily fluids, monkeypox sores, or shared objects (such as clothing and bedding) that have been contaminated with fluids or wounds from someone with monkeypox,” adding that household disinfectants can kill the virus on surfaces.

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