Toronto confirms 3 more monkeypox cases, bringing city's total to 5

Toronto Public Health has confirmed three more cases of monkeypox, bringing the total count of positive cases in the city to five.

City's public health agency also investigating another 5 possible cases

The telltale lesions of monkeypox, as seen on the skin of an infected rhesus macaque, a type of monkey found throughout Asia. (Journal of Veterinary Sciences)

Public health officials have confirmed three more cases of monkeypox, bringing the total count of known cases in the city to five.

On Thursday, Toronto Public Health (TPH) updated the tracker on its website indicating the new cases. TPH says it's also investigating five other cases to determine whether they are positive or negative.

The city reported its first confirmed case of the disease last Thursday. There have been 10 potential cases that have tested negative so far.

"We continue to monitor monkeypox activity in Toronto," TPH said in a tweet.

Nearly 550 cases have been reported across 30 countries, largely among men. Canada now has 58 confirmed cases of monkeypox, Canada's chief public health officer said Friday.

Of the cases identified so far through laboratory testing, 52 are from Quebec, five are from Ontario and one is from Alberta.

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, but it generally does not spread easily between people and is transmitted through prolonged close contact.

Toronto Public Health say the virus is not as transmissible as COVID-19.

Monkeypox typically spreads from close person-to-person contact through respiratory droplets, direct contact with skin lesions or bodily fluids, or indirect contact through contaminated clothing or linens.

The health unit says symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, swollen lymph nodes and a rash that "often appears within a few days after symptoms begin.

"It starts on the face and spreads to other parts of the body," TPH notes.

Since the outbreak began in several countries around the world in early May, there have been no reported deaths.