The World Health Organisation has declared the monkeypox outbreak a global emergency.
The alert, which is the highest one the WHO can issue is coming on the heels of the upsurge of monkeypox cases worldwide. It was issued after the organisation’s second emergency meeting on the virus and its outbreak.
According to WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, over 16,000 cases of the monkeypox virus have been reported in 75 countries and five deaths.
Currently, there are only two other such emergencies – the covid-19 pandemic and the continued efforts to eradicate polio.
Dr. Tedros said the first emergency committee had struggled to agree on if the Monkeypox virus was a global health emergency. Read more on monkeypox outbreak in Nigeria HERE.
However, as the virus continued to spread rapidly around the world, they had no choice but to declare it an international concern. Dr. Tedros added that too little is known of the mode of transmission that has allowed the monkeypox virus to spread quickly across borders.
“The WHO’s assessment is that the risk of monkeypox is moderate globally and in all regions, except in the European region, where we assess the risk as high,” he added. He also stated that there was also an additional risk of higher spread globally, although it might not impact international traffic for now.
Dr. Tedros mentioned that the declaration had been made to help speed up the process of creating a vaccine for Monkeypox.
Furthermore, The WHO is issuing recommendations to countries on how to halt the spread of the virus within their borders.
“This is an outbreak that can be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups,” Dr. Tedros said.
The organisation hopes that world leaders will escalate the implementation of measures to limit the spread of the virus.
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