In a media release Friday evening, Island Health confirmed the first case of monkeypox on Vancouver Island.

The affected individual resides on southern Vancouver Island. A specific location was not revealed.

Lab results confirmed the positive case on Thursday, but a notice from Island Health was sent out to the public on Friday.

Island Health said public health teams are conducting follow-ups on the case, including managing contacts identified through contact tracing.

The health authority said the risk to the general public is very low, and reiterated that Monkeypox does not generally spread easily between people.

While most, but not all, recent global infections are among men who identify as gay, bisexual, or men who have had sex with other men, the virus can affect anyone through close person-to-person contact.

Vaccinations are being provided to high-risk contacts identified through contact tracing.

Symptoms for monkeypox usually appear one to two weeks after exposure, but can take anywhere from five to 21 days to appear.

The disease can occur in two stages, with flu-like symptoms appearing first, followed by a rash usually with sores/blisters. However, many people only get the rash.

People are considered to be infectious from when symptoms first appear until the sores crust over, are dry, and new skin is visible.

Island Health said most people with monkeypox have mild symptoms and do not require any specific interventions.

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