Yukon confirms territory's 1st case of monkeypox

The first person to be diagnosed with monkeypox in the Yukon is isolating, said the territory's chief medical officer, adding that Yukon Communicable Disease Control is conducting a thorough investigation of the case.

Individual is isolating and case is being investigated, says chief medical officer of health

Microscope image showing teal cells against brown cells
Monkeypox particles, appearing in teal, found within an infected cell. The Yukon confirmed its first case of the disease on Thursday. The affected individual is isolating. (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/The Canadian Press)

The first case of monkeypox was confirmed Thursday in the Yukon, according to the territory's chief medical officer of health.

In a Friday government news release, Dr. Sunit Ranade said the individual is in isolation and that Yukon Communicable Disease Control is conducting a thorough investigation of the case.

"We understand that the exposure to monkeypox occurred outside of the territory," said Ranade in the release.

He said no further details about the individual would be released in order to protect their privacy.

"Monkeypox is usually a self-limited viral infection with a rash that may be painful and most people recover on their own after a few weeks," said Ranade.

More than 600 cases of monkeypox virus, or MPXV, have been identified in Canada to date. The current outbreak in the country is overwhelmingly affecting men who have sex with men, though the virus is typically known for infecting people more broadly, including women and children.

The virus generally doesn't spread easily and is transmitted through prolonged close contact via respiratory droplets, direct contact with skin lesions or bodily fluids, or through contaminated clothes or bedding.

Common symptoms include rash, oral and genital lesions and swollen lymph nodes.

The monkeypox disease comes from the same family of viruses that cause smallpox, which the World Health Organization declared eradicated around the globe in 1980. Smallpox vaccines have proven effective in combating the monkeypox virus.

With files from Lauren Pelley