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Two new suspected cases, one probable case of monkeypox in Toronto: health agency

Two new suspected cases of monkeypox and one probable case of the virus were reported in Toronto on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases being investigated in the city to four. 

Toronto Public Health said all three of the newly reported cases are men – two in their 30s and one in their 20s – and they are "doing well." 

One of the three men had travelled to Montreal and was a contact of the first suspected case Toronto Public Health said it was investigating in the city over the weekend. 

That first case involved a man in his 40s who had contact with someone who had recently travelled to Montreal. The agency said Wednesday that the first case was now considered a probable case. 

According to an Ontario Ministry of Health order, cases can be classified as confirmed, probable, suspected, not meeting the definition of the virus or "epi-linked." 

Last week, Quebec reported the first cases of the virus in Canada. The Public Health Agency of Canada reported 16 confirmed cases in that province Wednesday.

In Montreal, Dr. Mylene Drouin, the city's public health director, provided updated figures for the city on Wednesday, saying on Twitter there are 13 confirmed and 14 suspected cases of monkeypox on the island of Montreal. 

Health officials say none of the cases investigated so far have been severely ill.

As a preparedness step, PHAC provided Quebec with a small shipment of Imvamune vaccine from Canada's National Emergency Strategic Stockpile (NESS) to support their targeted response. 

Similarly, as warehousing and cold chain operations are confirmed, other jurisdictions will begin receiving limited pre-positioning supply shipments. 

At this point, and in alignment with international expert assessments, including the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no need for the vaccine to be used for mass immunization. 

In Canada, experts and health authorities are continuing to investigate the spread of monkeypox and will regularly assess the situation as it evolves.

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.

Health officials have said the risk posed by monkeypox is low. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 25, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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