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Saskatchewan has its first case of monkeypox

Saskatchewan health officials are confirming the province’s first case of monkeypox. Location details and other personal information were not given due to privacy concerns.

Monkeypox is spread through face-to-face close contact, touching bodily fluids or exposure to contaminated objects like bed linens or clothing.

Symptoms include fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes.

“The risk in Saskatchewan and Canada remains low, but residents are encouraged to be aware of the symptoms and contact a healthcare provider, if they suspect they may be infected,” says Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Julie Kryzanowski.

“Typically there is a characteristic rash associated with monkeypox. The presentation varies from person to person. Usually that rash is preceded by a fever, feeling unwell, muscle aches, headaches; one to three days before the rash.”

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Officials say there are 477 cases across Canada as of Wednesday and going forward they will be taking the necessary steps to protect the public against this communicable disease.

Kryzanowski says they continue to learn about the disease and work with health partners across the country to understand the epidemiology of monkeypox. They are also following up with contact tracing measures and provincial next steps.

“In terms of the follow up, there is the advice that has been provided by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization for use of a vaccine that may protect contacts from developing monkeypox infection. So that is all part of the approach and consideration as we do that follow up with cases and contacts.”

Kryzanowski says there is not a monkeypox specific vaccine as yet but there is a vaccine that protects against smallpox and monkeypox which is being used. At this time its supply in Canada is limited.

The health official says anyone that thinks they may have symptoms should contact their healthcare provider or call 811.

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