It is up to WHO to determine whether or not this will result in the highest possible monkeypox alert. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called the outbreak of monkeypox a global public health emergency. This is the most dangerous level that a group can give to an epidemic or pandemic.
According to the head of the organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the organization’s decision is due to a sharp increase in the number of virus infections in the world. In total, 16 thousand cases of infection were detected in 47 countries, while a month ago there were only 3 thousand cases.
Ghebreyesus explained that the WHO decides to declare an emergency based on five criteria, one of which is the speed of the spread of the virus. In this case, the monkeypox virus quickly spread to countries where it had not been seen before.
The head of WHO explained that the risk of infection with monkeypox in different regions of the world is now different. In Europe, the organization assesses it as high, and in other parts of the world – it as moderate.
“There is a clear risk of further spread of the virus across different countries, although the risk that the virus will cause disruption of international communication, we assess as low,” – added the head of WHO.
WHO has developed four sets of recommendations for dealing with the virus for four categories of countries, depending on how many cases they have and how quickly the virus is spreading in them. Governments are encouraged to take coordinated action to protect vulnerable groups of citizens and stop the spread of the disease.
The monkeypox virus is similar to the black pox virus, but not as contagious and deadly. The disease it causes is usually milder, much like chickenpox, and the symptoms go away on their own after a few weeks.
However, in some outbreaks in West Africa, deaths have been as high as 10%.
According to the first symptoms, it is quite difficult to identify monkeypox – this is fever, headache, and back pain, which may have many other reasons.
Britain is actively vaccinating against the virus, and the government has already initiated a contact tracing program similar to the one that operated at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Patients are treated with either the smallpox vaccine or antiviral drugs.
In Russia, the first case of monkeypox was registered in July. The disease was detected in a young man who returned from Europe.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on July 20 that more than 15,800 people have had monkeypox. This number was published in 72 countries.
Outside of the West and Central African nations where the disease has long been common, an increase in monkeypox infections has been noted since early May.
The WHO summoned an emergency committee (EC) of experts on June 23 to determine if monkeypox qualifies as a “public health emergency of international concern” (USPPI), which is the highest degree of alert for the United Nations health organization.
However, a majority told the Tedros that the issue at hand had not yet crossed the barrier.
Tedros expressed alarm at the second meeting, which was convened on Thursday as the number of cases continued to rise.
Tedros said during the more than six-hour discussion, “I need your assistance to analyze the immediate and mid-term ramifications for public health.”
On Friday night, a health professional from the US gave a frightening warning.
“We have observed an exponential rise in cases since the last monkeypox EC just a few weeks ago. In the upcoming weeks and months, there will unavoidably be a sharp rise in the number of cases. According to Lawrence Gostin, head of the WHO Collaborating Center on National and Worldwide Health Law, “this is why @DrTedros needs to scream the global alarm.”
“The health of the entire world will suffer if we do not act.”
Monkeypox, a smallpox-like viral virus that was discovered in humans for the first time in 1970, is less harmful and contagious than smallpox, which was eradicated in 1980.
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