Learn about monkeypox (MPOX)

Consistent with other jurisdictions and scientific publications, the Department of Health and Social Services refers to monkeypox as MPOX.

On this page:

MPOX is a disease caused by infection with the MPOX virus. MPOX virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. MPOX symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder and MPOX is rarely fatal. MPOX is not related to chickenpox.

Cases in Canada

Find MPOX cases in Canada and view the epidemiological update. 


MPOX is usually a self-limited viral infection with a rash that may be painful. Most people recover on their own after a few weeks.

Developing symptoms

  • People usually develop symptoms 5 to 21 days after being exposed to the MPOX virus.
  • Symptoms typically last from 2 to 4 weeks and may pass through several stages.

About the rash

The rash can be painful and could affect any part of the body, such as the:

  • mouth;
  • genitals;
  • perianal;
  • face;
  • arms and legs;
  • feet; and
  • hands.

The rash usually lasts between 14 and 28 days and changes through different stages. It finally forms scabs that later fall off. The rash can be accompanied by general symptoms such as:

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

How long are you contagious?

You're contagious from the onset of first symptoms until the scabs fall off on their own and your skin is healed.


MPOX is transmitted from:

  • animal-to-human through direct contact with blood, bodily fluids or lesions of infected animals; or
  • human-to-human through close contact with respiratory droplets, skin lesions or contaminated objects from an infected person.

In Canada, the majority of cases at this time are men who reported intimate sexual contact with other men. However, it's important to stress that the risk of exposure to the MPOX virus is not exclusive to any group or setting.


If you have MPOX symptoms, find out if you should get tested:

  • contact your health care provider;
  • contact your family doctor;
  • contact your health care centre; or
  • visit the emergency room.


On November 24, 2022, the MPOX vaccine (Imvamune®) was available for eligible Yukoners at the Whitehorse, Dawson City and Watson Lake Health Centres.

With improved vaccine supply as of December 16, 2022, anyone who received a first dose in their Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis series should receive a second dose at least 28 days after their first, as recommended by the Yukon Immunization Manual. A complete primary series of Imvamune® pre-exposure prophylaxis is two doses, 28 days apart.

When used before exposure, the MPOX vaccine, has the potential to reduce the severity of MPOX infection by helping the body build immunity without getting very sick.

Yukoners who meet eligibility criteria may call ahead to book an adult immunization appointment at Whitehorse, Dawson City and Watson Lake Health Centres during regular operating hours. No disclosure of risk factors is required to make an appointment, and all appointments and health information is confidential.

The MPOX vaccine is available to individuals who are two-spirit, transgender, and cisgender males who self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men community, and who also have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • multiple sexual partners,
  • self-reported history of a sexually transmitted infection within the last year,
  • recent or planned attendance to locations for sexual contact, or
  • recent or anticipated participation in anonymous or casual sex.

The vaccine is also available for individuals who are engaged in sex work.

Anyone with MPOX symptoms should contact their health care provider, health care centre or visit their nearest emergency room to find out if they should get tested.

Contacts of a known case of MPOX may be offered vaccination to reduce their risk of severe disease.


BC Centre for Disease Control

Government of Canada

World Health Organization