Montreal health officials investigating 17 suspected cases of monkeypox

MONTREAL (Reuters) – Montreal public health officials said on Thursday they are investigating 17 suspected cases of monkeypox virus infections in the Canadian city, as more cases of the rare virus are reported globally.

Several countries including Portugal and Spain have identified cases of monkeypox in recent weeks, with the first U.S. case identified by Massachusetts public health officials on Wednesday in a man who had recently traveled to the Canadian province of Quebec.

Monkeypox, which mostly occurs in west and central Africa, is a rare viral infection similar to human smallpox, though milder. It was first recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1970s. The number of cases in West Africa has increased in the last decade.

Symptoms include fever, headaches and skin rashes starting on the face and spreading to the rest of the body.

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