WHO to reconvene emergency meeting of health experts over surge in Monkeypox cases

The WHO will reconvene its health experts to decide if the worsening outbreak of the Monkeypox virus now constitutes a global public health emergency, stated its chief on Wednesday, July 6.

The WHO will reconvene its health experts to decide if the worsening outbreak of the Monkeypox virus now constitutes a global public health emergency, stated its chief on Wednesday, July 6.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the United Nations health agency, stated that he would conduct another meeting of the emergency committee on Monkeypox, with over 6000 cases now confirmed in around 58 nations.

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A rise in cases of Monkeypox has been reported since the start of May outside the West and Central African nations, where the infection has long been endemic.

“I persist in being concerned by the scale and spread of the monkeypox virus,” Tedros said during a press conference from the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva.

Presently, Europe is the epicentre of the outbreak, recording over 80% of monkeypox patients worldwide.

As per the World Health Organisation, most monkeypox cases so far have been found in men who have an intimate relationship with men of young age.

On June 23, the World Health Organisation called for an emergency committee of health experts to decide if Monkeypox comprises a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). But most of them said that the situation had not reached that point.

The 16-member emergency committee of the WHO on Monkeypox is headed by Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who is an ex-director of the WHO’s Vaccines and Immunisation Department.

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The most common symptoms of the Monkeypox virus include a high fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a blistery chickenpox-like rash.

The initial outbreak suggests no epidemiological links to historically reported Monkeypox regions, stating that undetected transmission of the virus might have been going on for some time now.

The current plan of the WHO to contain the spread concentrates on creating awareness among impacted population groups and motivating safe behaviour, and also protective measures.

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