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Monkeypox 'deeply concerning' but not a global health emergency, WHO says

The World Health Organization decided that the monkeypox epidemic is not yet a health emergency. However, its director general is still “deeply concerned”

A summit of top WHO doctors was called to discuss the outbreak. It was not designated a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the WHO.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus is the WHO’s director-general. He stated: “I am deeply worried about the monkeypox epidemic, this is clearly a evolving health threat that both my colleagues and myself and the WHO Secretariat will be closely following.”

International Health Regulations Emergency Committee raised concerns and recommended steps that the international community could take.

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They also noted that 3,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported in 50 countries, which are not known to be affected by the disease.

One death was reported among the immuno-compromised.

It is an endemic area, with 1,500 cases and 70 deaths this year.

Learn more about Monkeypox

Dr Tedros stated: “Monkeypox has circulated in many African countries for decades, and has been neglected in terms research, attention, and funding.

“This must change, not only for monkeypox, but also for other neglected diseases of low-income countries. The world is reminded once again that health and well-being are interconnected.

The NHS states that monkeypox can be contracted if an infected animal bites you or you touch its blood, fluids, spots, blisters, or skin.

Learn more about Monkeypox. What are the symptoms? How easy is it to spread?

New UK guidance states that people with symptoms shouldn’t have sex.

Although it is rare to catch the disease from an infected person, transmission can occur through close contact, including sexual intercourse and touching clothing, bedding, towels, or other items that are used by someone with the rash.

You could also be at risk from contact with their blisters, scabs, or exposure to their coughs and sneezes.


What’s a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHE)?

A PHEIC, according to WHO, is an “extraordinary event” that poses a public health threat to other countries through international transmission and requires coordinated international responses.

Past PHEIC declarations have included swine influenza, Zika virus, COVID, and other Ebola outbreaks.

COVID was made a PHEIC 31 January 2020.

According to a statement, the committee recommended that the event be closely monitored after a few weeks when more information is available about the current unknowns. This will allow them to determine if there have been any significant changes that might warrant reconsidering their advice.

Image Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus stated that the response to this epidemic should serve as a catalyst for global solutions

The report stated that certain events could lead to a reassessment.

This means that there will be an increase in cases over the next three weeks, more cases from sex workers and increased spread to other countries. There will also be an increase in deaths and serious cases.

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