The World Health Organisation (WHO) has Saturday declared the monkeypox outbreak to be a global health emergency – the highest alarm it can sound – following its ‘extraordinary’ spread to more than 70 countries.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the decision to issue the declaration despite a lack of consensus among experts serving on the U.N. health agency’s emergency committee.
It was the first time the chief of the U.N. health agency has taken such an action.
“For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern”, he said.
Tedros indicated that the current risk of Monkeypox is moderate globally and in all regions, except in the European region where the risk is high.
“There is also a clear risk of further international spread, although the risk of interference with international traffic remains low for the moment”, he added.
Currently, there are more than 16,000 reported cases from 75 countries and territories and five deaths.
According to WHO, most reported cases so far have been identified through sexual health or other health services in primary or secondary health-care facilities and have involved mainly, but not exclusively, men who have sex with men.
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