The World Health Organization has classified the outbreak of monkeypox as a worldwide health emergency.
As a result of a worldwide increase in cases, the WHO has issued the highest level of alert possible.
It occurred at the conclusion of the second meeting of the WHO’s emergency committee regarding the virus.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the WHO, stated that more than 16,000 cases have been recorded from 75 countries.
Currently, the outbreak has resulted in five fatalities, he added.
In addition to the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing effort to eradicate polio, there are only two additional major health crises at now.
The outbreak of monkeypox in more than 70 countries has been deemed a “public health emergency of worldwide concern” by the World Health Organization (WHO).
An outbreak of monkeypox has been reported in more than 70 countries, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a “emergency of international concern.”
The designation given by the WHO as a “public health emergency of international concern” is meant to serve as a warning that a concerted effort at the international level is required. It also has the potential to free up funding and encourage global efforts to work together on the development of vaccines and treatments.
It is recommended that governments increase awareness among medical professionals and hospitals, implement preventive measures when there is reason to suspect an infection, and educate the general community on how to avoid contracting an infection.
The decision to issue the proclamation was made by the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, despite the fact that there was a lack of consensus among the experts participating on the emergency committee of the UN health agency. It was the very first time that the head of the United Nations health organisation had ever taken such a step.
Tedros revealed during a media event in Geneva that the committee had failed to establish a consensus, with nine members opposed to the declaration of a health emergency and six members in favour of the announcement. Tedros then announced his decision to proclaim the health emergency.
Tedros stated on Saturday that “we have an outbreak that has spread swiftly over the world through new mechanisms of transmission about which we understand too little and which satisfies the requirements under the international health rules.”
“I am aware that this has not been a simple or clear-cut procedure, and that there are different points of view held by the members of the committee,” he went on to say.
According to Tedros, there have been more than 16,000 cases recorded from 75 nations and territories, and there have been five fatalities.
WHO’s highest level of alert is a “global emergency,” but that doesn’t mean that a disease is especially dangerous or easy to spread.
WHO’s head of emergencies, Dr. Michael Ryan, said that the decision to put monkeypox in this category was made by the director-general to make sure that the world takes the current outbreak seriously.
Monkeypox has been around for decades in some parts of Central and West Africa, but it wasn’t known that it could cause large outbreaks outside of Africa or spread widely among people until May, when dozens of epidemics were found in Europe, North America, and other places.
So far, monkeypox has only killed people in Africa, where a more dangerous form of the virus is spreading, mostly in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Monkeypox is mostly spread to people in Africa by wild animals like rodents that have it. These limited outbreaks don’t usually cross borders. But in Europe, North America, and other places, monkeypox is spreading among people who have never been to Africa or had anything to do with animals.
Director of the WHO Center on Global Health Law Lawrence Gostin told Al Jazeera that the number of monkeypox cases has increased “exponentially” in five WHO regions of the world.
“To try to stop this in its tracks, there should be contact tracing, widespread testing, and strategic use of vaccines. But the time for keeping monkeypox under control is quickly running out, and we worry that it could spread to Europe, North America, and other parts of the world in the coming months,” Gostin told Al Jazeera.