There are no cases of monkeypox in the territory, but the Yukon government says it is working with the federal health agency and other public health bodies to look at the spread of the disease and assess the situation as it unfolds.
A statement issued by the territory’s office of the chief medical officer of health on June 9 states the situation will be assessed as it unfolds.
According to the website for the Public Health Agency of Canada, as of June 9 there are no cases of monkeypox in the Yukon with a total of 110 cases throughout the country.
Monkeypox is a viral disease that is typically mild with most people recovering on their own after a few weeks, it’s noted on the federal public health website. In some situations, people can become very sick and, potentially, die.
Symptoms can include a fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, headache, muscle, joint or back pain and exhaustion in the first stage. Stage two typically begins within three days of the fever starting and includes a rash that can often begin on the face and affect other parts of the body as well. The rash typically lasts between 14 and 28 days and changes through different stages before forming a scab that later falls off.
Guidance on access and distribution of the monkeypox vaccine is expected in the coming weeks. The current vaccination stock is with the national emergency supply.
With the current risk of monkeypox in the Yukon being low, there is no indication the territory will need a local supply at this point.
“Should this change, the Yukon has been provided an allocation within the national emergency supply,” it’s noted. “We are actively monitoring the situation and decisions on local vaccine supply will follow national guidance and assessment of the risk of local transmission.”
The vaccine marketed as Imvamune is used to prevent both monkeypox and smallpox. It is not the same as the smallpox vaccine people may have received over 50 years ago and its effectiveness against the current monkeypox outbreak is not known, it was noted in the government’s statement.
The risk of getting monkeypox can be lowered with good personal hygiene and avoiding close contact with people outside of the home.
“Wearing masks, physical distancing, covering coughs and sneezes and practicing frequent hand washing continue to be important, particularly when in public places,” the office of the chief medical officer of health said.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org