MONKEYPOX MEDIA ADVISORY: Infectious Disease Specialists From Regional Special Pathogen Treatment Center Available to Discuss Monkeypox Causes and Treatments
Cedars-Sinai Experts Available to Discuss Precautions to Avoid Spreading the Virus
WHAT: Multiple cases of monkeypox have surfaced in Europe and the U.S. that do not appear to be linked to travel, causing concern among the medical community that this infectious disease is spreading through sexual contact or other close interactions.
Designated as a regional Special Pathogen Treatment Center by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center maintains a team of clinicians trained to safely treat patients with highly infectious diseases. Just as the Cedars-Sinai team was activated at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team is ready to care for a patient with severe monkeypox.
"The Special Pathogens Response Team undergoes regular training in enhanced infection control practices, including use of specialized personal protective equipment," said Jonathan Grein, MD, director of Hospital Epidemiology.
Grein and fellow Cedars-Sinai infectious disease experts can discuss:
- What to expect if you become ill: Most people will have milder symptoms that last for two to four weeks. In the first few days, patients experience a flu-like illness that includes headache, fever and muscle aches. A couple of days later a rash develops that evolves over several days into bumps and then sores leaking fluid that eventually heal and scab.
- How to treat the disease: Anyone who suspects they might have monkeypox should call their physician, who can consult public health authorities to discuss next steps for diagnosis and treatment. Most people will have a mild illness and need supportive care to treat their symptoms. There are no proven treatments for monkeypox, but certain antiviral medications have shown promise against the virus in laboratory settings. Most patients will recover without the need for specific treatment. Vaccines for smallpox can provide significant protection against monkeypox. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are evaluating how these vaccines might be used in this current outbreak.
- How to avoid catching the disease: Monkeypox is spread through direct contact with infected animals, people or materials that are contaminated with the virus, such as clothing or bedding that has come in contact with fluid from the rash. The virus can enter the body through small breaks in the skin or through the eyes, nose, mouth or respiratory tract. Large respiratory droplets can also spread the virus, but this requires prolonged close contact. Monkeypox remains rare, especially in the U.S. Avoid animals and people who are sick as well as bedding or objects in contact with infected animals or people. Safety measures that prevent the spread of COVID-19 also work for monkeypox. These include avoiding close contact with people who are sick and practicing good hand hygiene.
WHO: Experienced infectious disease experts are available to comment:
- Soniya Gandhi, MD, associate chief medical officer and vice president of Medical Affairs
- Jonathan D. Grein, MD, director of Hospital Epidemiology
- Michael Ben-Aderet, MD, associate director of Hospital Epidemiology
WHERE: Cedars-Sinai can accommodate most virtual interview formats, including Zoom, FaceTime and Skype.
CONTACT: Marni Usheroff can help schedule your interview: 323-317-0556 or Marni.Usheroff@cshs.org.