1 The World Health Organization will reconvene its monkeypox experts to decide whether the worsening outbreak now constitutes a global public health emergency, its chief said on Wednesday.
2 The UN health agency’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said he would hold a second meeting of the emergency committee on monkeypox, with more than 6,000 cases now confirmed in 58 countries.
3 An increase in monkeypox infections since early May has been reported outside West and Central African countries, where the disease has long been endemic.
5 “Testing remains a challenge and it is very likely that there will be a significant number of cases that go unsolved.
6 “Europe is the current epicenter of the outbreak, recording more than 80 percent of monkeypox cases worldwide.”
7 Most monkeypox infections so far have been seen in men who have sex with men, young people, and mainly in urban areas, according to the WHO.
8 On June 23, the WHO convened an emergency committee of experts to decide whether monkeypox constitutes a so-called Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), the highest alarm the WHO can raise. Dream.
9 But most found that the situation had not yet crossed that threshold.
10 “My teams are following the data. I plan to reconvene the emergency committee so that they are updated on the current epidemiology and evolution of the monkeypox outbreak, and the implementation of countermeasures,” said Tedros.
11 “I will bring them together in the week of July 18 or sooner if necessary.”
12 – Fever and rash: Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, former director of the WHO Department of Vaccines and Immunization, chairs the 16-member WHO emergency committee on monkeypox.
13 There have been six PHEIC declarations since 2009, the last one was for Covid-19 in 2020, although the slow global response to the alarm bell still rankles at WHO headquarters.
14 A PHEIC was declared after a third emergency committee meeting on January 30 of that year. But it was only after March 11, when Tedros described the rapidly worsening situation as a pandemic, that many countries seemed to realize the danger.
15 Normal early symptoms of monkeypox include a high fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a blistery rash similar to chickenpox.
16 The initial cases in the outbreak had no epidemiological links to areas that have historically reported monkeypox, suggesting that undetected transmission may have been occurring for some time.
17 The current WHO plan to contain the spread focuses on raising awareness among affected population groups and encouraging safe behaviors and protective measures.