Monkeypox now a public health emergency. This was this was stated following second meeting of the WHO’s emergency committee on the virus. The meeting was held on Thursday, 21 July 2022, from 12:00 to 19:00 CEST.
This classification is the highest alert that the WHO can issue and is a result of the worldwide upsurge in cases of the disease.
As stated by the WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, more than 16,000 cases have now been reported from 75 countries across the world.
Five persons has so far died from the disease following the outbreak.
Dr Tedros said the emergency committee had been unable to reach a consensus on whether the monkeypox outbreak should be classified as a global health emergency.
The WHO Director-General recognizes the complexities and uncertainties associated with this public health event. Having considered the views of Committee Members and Advisors as well as other factors in line with the International Health Regulations, the Director-General has determined that the multi-country outbreak of monkeypox constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
While stating that not much is understood about the new modes of transmission which had allowed it to spread, the director general also noted that the WHO’s assessment is that the risk of monkeypox is moderate globally and in all regions, except in the European region, where we assess the risk as high,” he added.
There was also a clear risk of further international spread, although the risk of interference with international traffic remained low for the moment, he said.
Dr Tedros said the declaration would help speed up the development of vaccines and the implementation of measures to limit the spread of the virus.
The WHO is also issuing recommendations which it hopes will spur countries to take action to stop transmission of the virus and protect those most at risk.
Monkey now a public health emergency but it is an outbreak that can be contained with the right strategies in the right groups