(MENAFN- Trend News Agency)
Monkeypox is not yet a global health emergency, the World Health
Organization (WHO) ruled on Saturday, although WHO Director-General
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was deeply concerned about the
outbreak, Trend reports citing Reuters .
'I am deeply concerned about the monkeypox outbreak, this is
clearly an evolving health threat that my colleagues and I in the
WHO Secretariat are following extremely closely,' Tedros said.
The 'global emergency' label currently only applies to the
coronavirus pandemic and ongoing efforts to eradicate polio, and
the U.N. agency has stepped back from applying it to the monkeypox
outbreak after advice from a meeting of international experts.
There have been more than 3,200 confirmed cases of monkeypox and
one death reported in the last six weeks from 48 countries where it
does not usually spread, according to WHO.
So far this year almost 1,500 cases and 70 deaths in central
Africa, where the disease is more common, have also been reported,
chiefly in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Monkeypox, a viral illness causing flu-like symptoms and skin
lesions, has been spreading largely in men who have sex with men
outside the countries where it is endemic.
It has two clades - the West African strain, which is believed
to have a fatality rate of around 1% and which is the strain
spreading in Europe and elsewhere, and the Congo Basin strain,
which has a fatality rate closer to 10%, according to WHO.
There are vaccines and treatments available for monkeypox,
although they are in limited supply.
The WHO decision is likely to be met with some criticism from
global health experts, who said ahead of the meeting that the
outbreak met the criteria to be called an emergency.
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