WHO declares monkeypox a ‘global health emergency’

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency on Saturday as the illness continues to spread worldwide.

The decision is the second time to declare a health emergency in the past two years, with COVID being the first.

The decision

“We have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little, and which meets the criteria” for a public health emergency, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the WHO, said.

“This process demonstrates once again that this vital tool needs to be sharpened to make it more effective,” he added

The concern

“Tedros said the declaration would help speed up the development of vaccines and the implementation of measures to limit the spread of the virus,” BBC added.

“The WHO is also issuing recommendations which it hopes will spur countries to take action to stop transmission of the virus and protect those most at risk,” it reported.

Health officials are already recommending some people receive a vaccine for monkeypox.

More than 16,000 cases have now been reported in dozens of countries, with the growing concern regarding the outbreak. At least five deaths have been reported so far, according to the WHO. Monkeypox is spread in various ways. The CDC states, “The virus can spread from person to person through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids.

“It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex. In addition, pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.”

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