WHO / MONKEYPOX

23-May-2022 00:04:39
The head of WHO Smallpox Secretariat Dr Rosamund Lewis said, “monkeypox is really a disease of close contact. And so the risk to the general public remains very low. However, direct contact with the person who may be infected or who has a confirmed case of monkeypox means that the risk is obviously higher.” WHO
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STORY: WHO / MONKEYPOX
TRT: 4:39
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 23 MAY 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1.Wide shot, exterior, WHO
2.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Rosamund Lewis, Head, WHO Smallpox Secretariat, WHO Health Emergencies Programme:
"This outbreak is not typical because we usually just see monkeypox in endemic countries. There are countries in central and Western Africa where this is a known and recognized infection and disease. However, we have seen over the last five years nine cases of imported monkeypox, that is to say monkeypox detected in travelers from Nigeria. Over the last five years, we have seen just nine. So they were all linked to travel to West Africa. And that's why these cases now appearing in most regions and many countries of the world is a completely new situation."
3.Wide shot, exterior, WHO
4.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Rosamund Lewis, Head, WHO Smallpox Secretariat, WHO Health Emergencies Programme:
"What we have classically known is that monkeypox is transmitted by close face to face or skin to skin contact. This is what we know for now. It hasn't changed for now. The pattern that we're seeing in the cases that are occurring in countries outside of Africa right now remains the same. There seems to be person to person, contact through skin to skin transmission."
5. Wide shot, exterior, WHO
6.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Rosamund Lewis, Head, WHO Smallpox Secretariat, WHO Health Emergencies Programme:
"As we've mentioned, monkeypox is really a disease of close contact. And so the risk to the general public remains very low. However, direct contact with the person who may be infected or who has a confirmed case of monkeypox means that the risk is obviously higher. So what everyone needs to know is that the risk in general is low and we shouldn't be concerned. However, if you are concerned about any particular symptoms you are feeling, then please do consult a health care provider and let them know what your concerns are. In addition, if you have been diagnosed with a case of monkeypox or you are concerned that you may have this, then the important thing is to isolate yourself. Do not have physical contact with other people."
7. Wide shot, exterior, WHO
8.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Rosamund Lewis, Head, WHO Smallpox Secretariat, WHO Health Emergencies Programme:
"Transmission occurs through close contact primarily, and we can protect ourselves from transmission through close contact by maintaining a safe distance and by physical isolation. In addition, these lesions that occur from monkeypox as rashes also appear in the mouth. So if you're talking, if there's physical contact with the lining of the mouth, that is also a risk factor because the lesions in the mouth also carry virus."
9.Wide shot, exterior, WHO
10.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Rosamund Lewis, Head, WHO Smallpox Secretariat, WHO Health Emergencies Programme:
"The symptoms of monkeypox are described quite classically as being a rash that is preceded by a fever and feeling slightly unwell for a day or two. And then the rash is a typical rash which goes from a red rash to vesicles, little blisters, to pustules and then to a crust. And then the crust dries up and falls off. This is your classic situation of monkeypox, the classic description. It also usually starts on the face and progresses to the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet and the rest of the body. What we're seeing in the current outbreak of monkeypox in countries that are not typically seeing these cases is that many cases still do present this way. Many others, however, are presenting with a rash that is more limited in region, in the genital area and the perineal area. This is not unheard of before. It's just being described much more commonly right now."
11. Wide shot, exterior, WHO
12.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Rosamund Lewis, Head, WHO Smallpox Secretariat, WHO Health Emergencies Programme:
"The World Health Organization has been familiar with monkeypox for 40 years, ever since the eradication of smallpox was declared in 1980. So this is not something that's new. It's been a priority pathogen for WHO for four decades. However, now we're obviously responding to a new situation, both the rising number of cases in West and Central Africa, as well as the new cases appearing in different countries of the world. We've done this by establishing an incident management team, which is responding in a coordinated manner to the outbreak. We're doing this from headquarters across all our regions of the world, the six regions, and with the WHO country offices. We are putting out information which is available already online. We have put out information on the outbreak, as well as information on how to communicate with countries and with communities and with individuals in social networks. We are responding with technical guidance. So technical guidance is being posted online for countries and other interested parties to access on laboratory surveillance, on case investigation, surveillance and contact tracing, on clinical guidance and infection prevention and control as well as communications. There will also be guidance on immunization and vaccines and treatment."
13. Wide shot, exterior, WHO
STORYLINE
The head of WHO Smallpox Secretariat Dr Rosamund Lewis said, “monkeypox is really a disease of close contact. And so the risk to the general public remains very low. However, direct contact with the person who may be infected or who has a confirmed case of monkeypox means that the risk is obviously higher.”

Speaking to reporters today (23 May) in Geneva, Dr Rosamund Lewis said, "this outbreak is not typical because we usually just see monkeypox in endemic countries. There are countries in central and Western Africa where this is a known and recognized infection and disease.”

However, she said, “we have seen over the last five years nine cases of imported monkeypox, that is to say monkeypox detected in travelers from Nigeria. Over the last five years, we have seen just nine. So they were all linked to travel to West Africa. And that's why these cases now appearing in most regions and many countries of the world is a completely new situation."

Lewis also said, "what we have classically known is that monkeypox is transmitted by close face to face or skin to skin contact. This is what we know for now. It hasn't changed for now. The pattern that we're seeing in the cases that are occurring in countries outside of Africa right now remains the same. There seems to be person to person, contact through skin to skin transmission."

“What everyone needs to know is that the risk in general is low and we shouldn't be concerned,” she added.

The WHO’s expert also said, “However, if you are concerned about any particular symptoms you are feeling, then please do consult a health care provider and let them know what your concerns are. In addition, if you have been diagnosed with a case of monkeypox or you are concerned that you may have this, then the important thing is to isolate yourself. Do not have physical contact with other people."

Lewis added, "transmission occurs through close contact primarily, and we can protect ourselves from transmission through close contact by maintaining a safe distance and by physical isolation. In addition, these lesions that occur from monkeypox as rashes also appear in the mouth. So if you're talking, if there's physical contact with the lining of the mouth, that is also a risk factor because the lesions in the mouth also carry virus."

On the symptoms, she said, "the symptoms of monkeypox are described quite classically as being a rash that is preceded by a fever and feeling slightly unwell for a day or two. And then the rash is a typical rash which goes from a red rash to vesicles, little blisters, to pustules and then to a crust. And then the crust dries up and falls off. This is your classic situation of monkeypox, the classic description. It also usually starts on the face and progresses to the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet and the rest of the body.”

The WHO’s expert added, “what we're seeing in the current outbreak of monkeypox in countries that are not typically seeing these cases is that many cases still do present this way. Many others, however, are presenting with a rash that is more limited in region, in the genital area and the perineal area. This is not unheard of before. It's just being described much more commonly right now."

She said, "the World Health Organization has been familiar with monkeypox for 40 years, ever since the eradication of smallpox was declared in 1980. So this is not something that's new. It's been a priority pathogen for WHO for four decades.”

However, Lewis said, “now we're obviously responding to a new situation, both the rising number of cases in West and Central Africa, as well as the new cases appearing in different countries of the world.”

She added, “we've done this by establishing an incident management team, which is responding in a coordinated manner to the outbreak. We're doing this from headquarters across all our regions of the world, the six regions, and with the WHO country offices. We are putting out information which is available already online. We have put out information on the outbreak, as well as information on how to communicate with countries and with communities and with individuals in social networks. We are responding with technical guidance. So technical guidance is being posted online for countries and other interested parties to access on laboratory surveillance, on case investigation, surveillance and contact tracing, on clinical guidance and infection prevention and control as well as communications. There will also be guidance on immunization and vaccines and treatment."
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