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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Regional Director, Dr. Charles Vitek’s Remarks to Media
at Lugar Center
June 15, 2022

Question on Monkeypox in Georgia 

Dr. Vitek:  I think that for monkeypox the challenges that experts have to look at are based on the information, and what’s happening, and make decisions on what the risk is. So, there are a lot of ways, since the pandemic, this could be prevented, that the outbreaks can be controlled using things like contact tracing if needed, using vaccination. And that type of information is being looked at every day. So, there’s going to be meetings to help decide what needs to be done. I think that there’s a lot of reasons to be hopeful that you can prevent it from becoming a pandemic. I don’t have any special news about this region beyond what was discussed here about the probable case (of monkeypox) that’s being investigated. I think the outlook is favorable. There’s a known travel history. They’re isolating the patients. So, I think there’s a lot of reasons to say it should be able to be controlled.

Question on Entomological research at Lugar Center

Dr. Vitek:  In terms of the work that they do at the Lugar Center on insects, it is designed to make sure that they can understand how natural infections in this country that are transmitted by insects can be studied and how you can fight against them, how you can prevent them. So that’s the type of work that goes on here on NCDC. There are political statements made in Russia about research on spreading biological agents by insects. That is not something that we have ever studied here in the Lugar Center. We do study how to prevent diseases that are nationally transmitted right now in Georgia. There is an outbreak of Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever. That’s transmitted by ticks. Of course, we have scientists who have to study those ticks, so you know how to prevent that type of infection. That’s the type of work that’s going on, a hundred percent.