Alberta Health: No confirmed or suspected monkeypox cases in the province

As Quebec reports cases of a new infectious virus, Alberta Health says the province has no confirmed or suspected cases of the monkeypox.

Lisa Glover, Alberta Health spokesperson, confirmed to CTV News Edmonton that the province had no cases or active investigations for the viral disease as of Thursday.

"Alberta is working with federal, provincial and territorial partners to monitor the situation," Glover said in a statement. "However, there does not appear to be an elevated risk in the province."

This week, cases of monkeypox in the Montreal area were under investigation as more reports of infections of the rare disease across the world were reported, including in Portugal, Spain, the U.K., and U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when it first was identified in colonies of captive monkeys used for research. The first human case was reported in 1970.

Glover said Alberta has mandatory reporting for rare or emerging communicable diseases, including monkeypox.

"We are working with Alberta Health Services to provide information to doctors and clinicians on what to look for and patient management," Glover added.

Initial symptoms of the rare illness include fever, muscle aches, chills, exhaustion, headaches, and swollen lymph nodes.

Within one to three days after the appearance of symptoms, often patients develop a facial rash that can spread across the body.

The rash transitions to pustules or scabs that can fall off as the virus progresses. The illness typically lasts for two to four weeks, the CDC says.

The disease is mostly spread to people from animals, but it can spread among people. The disease has been endemic in parts of west and central Africa for decades.

"Monkeypox does not spread easily between people," Glover said. "Transmission can occur through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (like) clothing, bedding, or through respiratory droplets."

The majority of patients recover, although it can be potentially fatal in some cases.

With files from CTV News Montreal