The World Health Organization has declared the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency after a recent discussion by experts on the rising number of infections.
The WHO labeled the monkeypox outbreak – a “public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC)” – designed to trigger a coordinated international response and could unlock funding to collaborate on sharing vaccines and treatments.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the committee meeting on Thursday was unable to reach a consensus on the matter. However, he has decided to break the impasse by declaring a PHEIC, stating that while the risk on a global scale remains moderate, it was high in Europe and there was a clear risk of international spread.
So far this year, there have been more than 16,000 cases of monkeypox in more than 75 countries and five deaths in Africa.
It is the seventh time such a declaration has been made since 2009, the most recent being for Covid-19, which was given the same label by the WHO in 2020.(NNT)