Monkeypox: Taking lessons from the corona pandemic, the World Health Organization can no longer take any risk regarding monkeypox. Monkeypox has raised WHO’s concern, can monkeypox cause a medical emergency? There is going to be an emergency committee meeting on Thursday next week to assess this.
The meeting is to decide whether the outbreak of monkeypox can create a situation like a public health emergency of international concern. It is to be noted that this is the highest level of warning issued by the UN agency, which currently only applies to the COVID-19 pandemic and polio.
Monkeypox is endemic in some parts of Africa but in recent months more cases have been reported in those countries and the rest of the world. The virus causes flu-like symptoms and skin sores, and is spread by close contact. According to the WHO, it is considered fatal in about 3-6% of cases, although there have been no deaths in the outbreak outside Africa. The Democratic Republic of Congo has the highest number of deaths this year.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it is time to consider stepping up the response as the virus is behaving unusually, more countries are affected, and international coordination is needed.
Ibrahima Sosse Fall, WHO’s emergency director for Africa, said: “We don’t want to wait until the situation spirals out of control! The committee will meet with global experts next week, but the WHO director-general will make a final decision on this.” Let’s take a look at whether the outbreak is worthy of the label, known as PHEIC.
Some countries have begun vaccinating health workers and close contacts of smallpox patients, using the smallpox vaccine, a related and more serious virus that was eradicated in 1980. Earlier on Tuesday, the WHO issued new guidelines on monkeypox vaccination.