The World Health Organization is set to meet again to reassess whether monkeypox is a major public health emergency after thousands of infections have been reported in 58 countries.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters on Wednesday that the emergency committee will meet later this month to discuss the rare virus, despite its conclusion in June that monkeypox is not a “public health emergency”. of international importance”.
AndHe said“Regarding monkeypox, I remain concerned about the scale and spread of the virus,” he said, adding that WHO staff were “monitoring the data” and that the committee would meet a week later on July 18 to provide an update on the virus. outbreak evolution.
While Tedros noted that “testing remains challenging” and said it was “highly likely” that a large number of infections had not been detected, he added that there were 6,000 cases worldwide. Infections are now being detected in 58 countries, and the number has doubled since May.
Europe remains the epicenter of the current outbreak, which accounts for about 80% of known cases worldwide, the head of the World Health Organization continued, also warning that the virus, which is endemic to several countries on the continent, has reached some African countries unaffected by the outbreak.
The World Health Organization has not recommended universal monkeypox vaccination, but has instead proposed increased surveillance of the virus to help health care workers diagnose and treat it. However, officials in the US, UK, Canada and elsewhere have prepared for vaccine distribution, and the White House now aims to distribute nearly two million doses by the end of the year.
Monkeypox virus can be transmitted through close contact with infected people, their bodily fluids, or other contaminated materials. Initial symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and fatigue. Although most infections go away without serious consequences, the virus is fatal in a small percentage of cases.