WHO to hold meeting to declare monkeypox an international health emergency

The World Health Organization will decide whether the monkeypox outbreak will be considered a public health emergency of international concern at an emergency meeting next week. So far, there have been 1600 confirmed cases and around 1500 suspected cases of monkeypox worldwide this year. In 39 countries, the monkeypox virus has claimed 72 lives and according to Reuters, the WHO can issue the highest level of warning for the virus. Currently, this level of warning is only prevalent for the polio virus and also the COVID-19 pandemic. “We don’t want to wait for the situation to spiral out of control,” said Africa Emergency Director Ibrahima Socé Fall.

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According to WHO data, there have been no deaths outside of Africa so far, but the death rate remains around 3-6% for the virus. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom said the organization will make the decision at next week’s meeting.

Meanwhile, much has been said about the name of the virus and Tedros said the WHO was looking to change it as soon as possible. According to the Reuters report, the WHO is currently in talks with its partners about this and it is a top priority for them with vaccines.

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New guidelines for the monkeypox virus and vaccination were released earlier this week and according to Reuters some countries are currently vaccinating their first aiders with smallpox vaccines. Smallpox has been gone for some time and the vaccine is being used right now.


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Post expires at 4:04pm on Friday June 24th, 2022