Ontario woman leads the fight against monkeypox

With the world we live in now, with […] social media makes it very easy for everyone not only to communicate quickly, but also not to communicate the right things, even if one has good intentionsshe says.

Dr. Lewis spent part of her childhood in Fort William, until it merged with surrounding communities to become Thunder Bay. His father was a French teacher at Lakehead University and a presenter for a locally produced TV show on Francophone life in Thunder Bay and the region’s explorers, which gave him a taste for communication.

She left the region to finish high school, then found herself in Montreal, where she studied medicine, biotechnology and public health at McGill University.

Early in her career, Dr. Lewis was a family physician, but quickly transitioned into public health at the national and international levels in hopes of joining theWHO.

For me, the World Health Organization has always been a point of interest because I felt it combined my personal and professional interests.she explains.

To work her way into the organization, she first gained experience working for the Canadian International Development Agency and Epicenter.

Communication in times of pandemic

Since being hired at theWHODr. Lewis notably supported the communication staff to create understandable, simple and actionable explanations for the general public to help them understand the risks and protect themselves from COVID-19.

[La pandémie est] perhaps the only experience in which there is not a person on the planet who has not been affected in some wayshe points out.

Due to the amount of information available on the web, it was sometimes difficult for internet users, and even experts, to navigate websites and determine which details are true.

Even scientists themselves can’t get through all this amount of information. It’s easy not to know everything, not to understand everything and not to trust people. »

A quote from Dr. Rosamund Lewis, Task Team LeaderWHO on monkeypox

It has mainly contributed to the level of translation from scientific language to public language to make their job easier.

You have to make an effort to find out

In order to deal with monkeypox, Dr Lewis is once again focusing on communication to ensure that the public is well aware of the situation, whether it is in terms of how the virus is transmitted or how to protect yourself.

It’s a novelty. There will be a lot of information and misinformation. Effort should be made to obtain information from reliable sources, such as local public health units, their care staff, doctors and nursesshe says.

Skin lesions associated with monkeypox.

Photo: iStock

According to Dr. Lewis, most people at risk in many countries seem to be the men who have sexual relations with other men, be they bisexual, homosexual or other people, who themselves declare that they have had a partner or several partners in the last days or in the last weeks.

With the anti-pandemic restrictions being lifted more and more, people are starting to travel. And with them, viruses travel. »

A quote from Dr. Rosamund Lewis, Task Team LeaderWHO on monkeypox

The virus is spread primarily through prolonged close skin-to-skin contact between two people, whether sexual or otherwise.

For now, it’s not a big risk for the general public, but we still have to try to understand where it comes from and why it’s like this now, especially for those who are at risk.she continues.

By working with non-governmental organizations, his team wants to avoid that it is found in people who have an HIV infection that is not well controlled, a pregnant woman or a child who is very vulnerable.

With information from Nick Mongeon


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