Malta has detected its first case of monkeypox, the Health Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The case involves a 38-year-old man who lives in Malta and who recently travelled to a country where cases of the infection had been detected.

The man has slight symptoms and is isolation at home after it was concluded he did not require hospital treatment.

In recent weeks, a number of countries have reported cases of monkeypox, an infection the ministry said "is rare and is not easily transmitted".

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle pains, back pain, swollen glands, chills and lethargy. A rash that starts on the face can also develop.

The health authorities appealed to the public to maintain good hand hygene, especially when in contact with a person who is unwell.

Monkeypox is a rare disease that is usually linked to contact with wild animals in west and central Africa. Cases have been detected in the UK, Spain and Portugal as well as the United States over the past weeks.

Italy reported its first case on Thursday, saying it was identified in a young adult who had recently returned from the Canary Islands. He is being treated in isolation and is in a reasonable condition. Two other suspected cases are being investigated.

Canada said it is investigating more than a dozen suspected cases.

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