WHO announces monkeypox emergency meeting; there are already more than 6 thousand cases in the world

In special cases, monkeypox can cause severe illness.


The director of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, announced that will reconvene the Emergency Committee to assess whether monkeypox, which is already present in 58 countries with more than 6,000 confirmed cases, is already an international emergency.

The head of the agency said he remains concerned about the magnitude and spread of the virus. “Testing remains a challenge and it is very likely that there will be a significant number of cases that go undetected. Europe is the current epicenter of the outbreak, recording more than 80% of cases globally,” he explained.

At its previous meeting, held on June 25, the Committee decided that the outbreak, which has also increased cases in African countries where the disease is endemic and in others where it had not previously been detected, was not yet a health emergency.

Dr. Tedros announced that the Committee will meet the week of July 18 or sooner if necessary.

Vaccines are scarce

The WHO is working with countries and manufacturers to coordinate the distribution of vaccines, which are currently in short supply. The UN agency does not recommend mass vaccination against monkeypox. In the few places where vaccines are available, they are being used to protect those who may be exposed, such as health workers and laboratory personnel.

In addition, it is working with civil society and the LGBTIQ+ community to break the stigma surrounding the virus and spread information.

“I want to especially commend those who are sharing videos online through social media channels talking about their symptoms and experiences with monkeypox. It is a positive way to end the stigma of a virus that can affect anyone, “said Tedros.

Smallpox specialist Rosamund Lewis explained that infected children, a third are under the age of ten and half are under five. “The mode of transmission is believed to have been from exposure in his home,” she said.

The monkeypox virus is most often spread through direct contact with the rash or sores of someone who has the virus.. It can also spread through contact with clothing, bedding, and other items used by a person with the disease, or through respiratory droplets that can be transmitted through prolonged face-to-face contact. The risk of aerosol transmission is not yet fully understood. The WHO recommends that health workers caring for monkeypox patients wear a mask.

Symptoms usually begin seven to 14 days after exposure, but in some cases may not appear until 21 days. The most common symptom is a rash or sores on the skin. Flu-like symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, headache, and tiredness may also occur. In some cases, monkeypox can cause severe illness.

Read more:
Houston is the “hot zone” for monkeypox in Texas; Austin and Dallas-Fort Worth also report cases
Los Angeles will offer monkeypox vaccines to select residents, based on risk
WHO: monkeypox is not a health emergency for now