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Toronto health authorities investigate first suspected monkeypox case

This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. Toronto Public Health says it is investigating a first suspected case of monkeypox in the province. Health officials say it's a man in his 40s who had contact with someone who recently travelled to Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-CDC, Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner

Toronto Public Health says it is investigating Ontario's first suspected case of monkeypox.

Health officials say the case is a man in his 40s who had contact with someone who had recently travelled to Montreal.

The man recovering in hospital and his condition is stable.

The risk posed by monkeypox is low, and thus far all five lab-confirmed cases in Canada are in Montreal, where health officials said Saturday there are 15 cases under investigation.

Monkeypox is a rare disease that comes from the same family of viruses that causes smallpox, which the World Health Organization declared eradicated around the globe in 1980. 

In general, monkeypox does not spread easily between people and is transmitted through prolonged close contact, including direct contact with an infected person's respiratory droplets, bodily fluids or sores.

Monkeypox is typically milder than smallpox and can cause fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, swollen lymph nodes and lesions all over the body.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 21, 2022.

The Canadian Press