WHO declares monkeypox a global emergency

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, declared on Saturday that the quickly expanding monkeypox epidemic constitutes a global health emergency, the highest level of warning that can be issued by the organisation.

This classification from the World Health Organization (WHO), known as a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC), is intended to activate a concerted response on a global scale and may free up financing for international cooperation on the development of vaccines and therapies.

WHO declares monkeypox a global emergency


  • The WHO’s highest degree of warning is called a Declaration.
  • Tedros is the one who breaks the impasse on the advisory group.
  • Welcoming this decision as a potential means of containing the sickness

Tedros had to intervene personally in order to break the impasse that had developed among the members of an expert committee who had gathered on Thursday to discuss the potential recommendation. There were nine members of the committee who were against the declaration, and there were six members who were in favour of the declaration.

Tedros stated during a media briefing in Geneva that “while I am declaring a public health emergency of international significance, for the moment this is an outbreak that is concentrated among males who have sex with men, particularly those with several sexual partners.”

WHO declares monkeypox a global emergency

He went on to say that “stigma and prejudice may be just as harmful as any infection.”

He stated that the danger of monkeypox, which is contagious through close contact and may produce symptoms similar to the flu as well as pus-filled skin lesions, was moderate everywhere, with the exception of Europe, where the World Health Organization has classified the risk as high. continue reading

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders described the proclamation as a “call to action for the international community to stop the spread of this epidemic.” The head of the pandemic preparedness office at the White House, Raj Panjabi, stated that a “coordinated, multinational response is required” in order to limit the spread of the disease and safeguard populations that are at the highest risk of becoming infected with it.

Previously, Tedros had a habit of endorsing the recommendations of expert committees. However, earlier on Saturday, two sources told Reuters that he had likely opted to back the highest alert level owing to worries about rising case rates and a shortage of vaccinations and treatments.

There have been almost 16,000 cases of monkeypox reported in more than 75 countries so far this year, and five fatalities have been attributed to the disease in Africa.

In regions of the world other than Africa, where the virus already exists naturally, the most recent epidemic has been observed almost exclusively in men who engage in sexual activity with other males.

Health professionals expressed their satisfaction with the World Health Organization’s decision to release the PHEIC statement, which up until this point had only been used in reference to the continuing efforts to eliminate polio and the coronavirus epidemic.

“The right result is clear – not declaring an emergency at this point would be a historic missed opportunity,” said Lawrence Gostin, a professor at Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C., who called the decision politically brave. “The right result is clear – not declaring an emergency at this point would be a historic missed opportunity.”

According to Josie Golding, who serves as the head of epidemics and epidemiology at the Wellcome Trust, the move should make it easier to control the spread of the viral illness.

She stated that “we cannot afford to keep waiting for illnesses to grow before we respond,” and I agree with her sentiment.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and national governments have been under great pressure from researchers and professionals in the field of public health to take more action regarding monkeypox.

Since the committee first convened at the end of June, when there were only around 3,000 instances of the viral sickness, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of cases.

The expert committee reached a consensus at the time that they would revise their opinion on the emergency declaration if the epidemic became more widespread.

One of the primary concerns that led to a reevaluation was whether or not the cases might spread to other populations, including children and other individuals who, in previous outbreaks of the virus in endemic nations, have been more susceptible to its effects.

On Friday, the United States confirmed the first two cases of monkeypox in children to have occurred there.

On Saturday, WHO representatives stated that the organisation was investigating the likelihood of the virus spreading through novel mechanisms of transmission.

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