McGowan: Monkeypox Unlikely To Spread Despite Case Detected In WA

“Very, very low risk”

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WA’s Premier says Monkeypox is unlikely to spread out of control across the state, while experts warn people to remain vigilant.

The state recorded its first case of Monkeypox on Thursday, with the case now in isolation following their return from overseas.

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WA Health says the risk to the community from this case is low, but returned travellers are urged to monitor for symptoms of the virus.

Premier Mark McGowan front media today, supporting the stance that contracting the virus in the state remains “very, very low”.

“In Western Australia, our health advice is that it’s very, very low risk,” he said.

“There’s been contact tracing done around this person’s contacts since he’s been back and he’s isolating currently.

“I just urge anyone returning from overseas who exhibits any symptoms to be careful and to make sure they don’t pass whatever illness they’ve got on and make sure they monitor for symptoms of monkeypox.

“In terms of the broader community, the advice I have is the risk is very low.”

During his conference, McGowan was asked by journalists whether he would receive the Monkeypox vaccine, in which he replied, “I don’t think so”.

He added that he hadn’t received any advice on the rollout of the vaccination

“I think they’re going to have limited supply at this point, and I’d expect that each state will get a portion based on their population, and then we’ll take health advice on which elements of the population will receive the vaccine,” he said.

On Thursday, WA Health said the state would receive a limited supply of vaccines for the virus within days.

“WA Health will initially receive a limited supply of vaccines for monkeypox within the coming days,” the statement said.

“These vaccines will be prioritised for the highest risk groups and plans for roll-out of the vaccine are being formulated.”

The Communicable Disease Control Directorate’s Director Dr Paul Armstrong said returned travellers, particularly from areas with high numbers of monkeypox cases, should remain vigilant for symptoms.

“We are asking the community to continue to be vigilant and watch for signs of the virus,” he said.

“Monkeypox is spread to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, either by direct contact with open lesions or prolonged face to face contact, or with material contaminated with the virus.”

“A person with monkeypox can transmit the infection to other people through skin lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.”

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5 August 2022

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