Monkeypox Outbreak in Canada

Public Service Announcement

Yellowknife — August 31, 2022

Certain regions of Canada are currently experiencing Monkeypox outbreaks; however there are no reported cases in the NWT. Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the Monkeypox virus.  If you are travelling outside the territory, please take precautions to protect yourself from contracting this illness.

Monkeypox is transmitted mainly through direct skin to skin contact with an infected person’s rash. It can spread to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. Symptoms usually develop 5 to 21 days after being exposed to the Monkeypox virus, and typically last for 2 to 4 weeks. Most people will recover on their own.

Symptoms include:

  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Back pain
  • Exhaustion

Monkeypox can be spread in a few different ways.

  • Direct contact with rash or scabs, and (possibly) through respiratory secretions and/or body fluids from a person infected with Monkeypox.
  • Prolonged contact with objects, fabrics (i.e., clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with Monkeypox.
  • Monkeypox is not known to be a sexually transmitted infection, but sexual activities often include intimate contact that can spread Monkeypox, such as:
    • Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and/or vagina) or anus of a person with Monkeypox.
    • Direct contact with lesions.
    • Touching fabrics and objects during sex that were used by a person with Monkeypox that have not been disinfected, such as bedding, linens, fetish gear, and sex toys.

Case counts are often higher among men who have sex with men. However, anyone can become exposed and infected through direct contact to a case of Monkeypox.

If you develop symptoms, isolate at home away from others, and contact your local health centre or health care provider to get assessed and tested for the Monkeypox virus.


For media requests, please contact:

Jeremy Bird

Manager, Communications

Department of Health and Social Services

Government of the Northwest Territories

(867) 767-9052 ext. 49034