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Yukon sees first monkeypox case

The Yukon has its first case of monkeypox.
A colourized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox particles (yellow) found within an infected cell (blue), is shown in a handout photo captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. The Yukon reporter its first monkeypox case on July 22. (Courtesy/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

The Yukon has its first case of monkeypox.

Dr. Sudit Ranade, the Yukon’s chief medical officer, announced the case in a news release on July 22.

The individual is in isolation, Ranade says. Exposure likely occurred outside the territory, and Yukon Communicable Disease Control is undertaking a “thorough investigation.”

Further details aren’t being shared out of respect for the individual.

Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox, though rarely fatal, according to Ranade. It’s a viral infection causing a painful rash. Most of the time, people recover after a few weeks.

According to the monkeypox information portal on the Yukon government’s website, the rash can be accompanied by other symptoms including:

  • fever;
  • chills;
  • swollen lymph nodes;
  • headache;
  • muscle pain;
  • joint pain;
  • back pain; and
  • exhaustion.

Anyone with monkeypox symptoms is advised to contact a health-care provider.

Contacts of a known case of monkeypox may also be offfered vaccination.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has recorded more than 600 cases of monkeypox, or MPXV as it is known in the scientific community, since the first report in early June. Quebec has the highest number of cases at over 300, followed by 230 in Ontario, 40 in British Columbia and about a dozen in Alberta.

In Canada, the majority of cases at this time are men who reported intimate sexual contact with other men, though “it’s important to stress that the risk of exposure to the monkeypox virus is not exclusive to any group or setting,” the Yukon government says.

There are over 6,000 lab-confirmed cases across the globe and three people have died from the disease, showed data from the World Health Organization. Local transmission of monkeypox has been recorded with no epidemiological links to countries that have previously reported monkeypox, such as western or central parts of Africa, it said.

— With files from Canadian Press