The Saskatchewan Health Authority reported Wednesday afternoon that Saskatchewan has its first confirmed case of monkeypox.

A Saskatchewan resident contracted what public health officials call a rare disease brought on by infection with monkeypox virus.

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

The SHA is not releasing the location, gender, age, or other information due to the risk of identifying the individual. They say health officials will provide public notification to a community or location if the risk to others is considered high.

The SHA says monkeypox does not spread easily. It is spread through:

  • prolonged face-to-face close contact; 
  • touching bodily fluids or lesions of a person who is sick with the disease; or 
  • exposure to contaminated objects such as bed linens or clothing.

Typical symptoms include fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes.

If you have recently travelled to areas of Canada or the world with confirmed cases of monkeypox or have been in contact with an individual with suspected or confirmed monkeypox, and develop fever or other symptoms of illness within three weeks of returning to Saskatchewan, you should call HealthLine 811 or consult a health care provider immediately.

Public health officials have increased surveillance for monkeypox and alerted healthcare providers about signs, symptoms, and treatments.

As of Wednesday, British Columbia had 29 confirmed cases, Alberta had eight, Ontario had 156, and Québec had 284.