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WHO declares Monkeypox global emergency

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Saturday declared monkeypox a global health emergency.

The latest development, The Telegraph UK reports, is above an earlier decision of the global health panel that said the virus was not significant enough to be declared a global health emergency..

WHO’s Director General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, on Saturday overruled the global health organisation’s panel of advisers to make the designation.

As of June 26, 2022, when the global cases of monkeypox reported were 3,040 infections from 47 countries, the committee’s report advised WHO that the monkeypox outbreak does not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), which is the highest level of alert WHO can issue.

The designation of a “public health emergency of international concern” is currently only being used by the WHO for coronavirus and polio.

The latest decision, therefore, signals a possible greater global response to the outbreak which has spread to at least 75 countries within the last few weeks.

“We have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little, and which meets the criteria”, he told reporters.

Mr Ghebreyesus, however, said it was still mostly of concern to homosexual men.

He was quoted to have said; “Although I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern, for the moment this is an outbreak that is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners.

“That means that this is an outbreak that can be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups.”

 

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