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‘Monkeypox is a real concern – but Gib is getting ready’

‘We are in close contact with the Director of Public Health, Dr. Helen Carter, regarding the situation on monkeypox as it affects the community of Gibraltar. And we are pleased to know that Dr. Carter has solid plans in place to manage the growing risk that faces populations worldwide. Our impression is that systems are getting to readiness.

‘While it is worrying to know that our neighbour Spain has now reported two deaths from the illness in the last few days, it is equally good to know that Gibraltar is expecting to obtain delivery of a number of smallpox vaccines which would allow initial preventative steps to be taken.

Director of Public Health, Dr. Helen Carter.

‘ERG/AOP has been alert and reporting on monkeypox for a while, although we are under the impression that the menace has not been sufficiently reported on or taken as seriously as needed. Good management and preparations from the Ministry of Public Health, headed by Minister Dr. John Cortes and with Dr. Carter at the helm, means ERG/AOP is satisfied that the community can be assured that good preparatory management has taken place.

‘However, it is important to carry through an effective and transparent program of public information and education in order to ensure we, as citizens, are all ready to be able to avoid the kind of contact the monkeypox virus depends on to spread. According to latest data, there are around 6 infected persons reported to the GHA, and we must all do our utmost to ensure we can contain this.

‘There will be community groups who will be able to assist in supporting Dr. Carter’s efforts, and ERG/AOP has offered assistance in any efforts required to ensure the continuing health of the community. In the end, absolutely anyone can be infected since all that’s necessary is either normal or casual contact with an infected individual, or even to touch infected surfaces or clothing.

‘This has claimed two lives already in nearby Spain, with one death in Andalucia. Tragic as this is, so far fatality stands as an exception rather than the norm, from our understanding,’ the statement ends.