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World Health Organization to meet again to determine if Monkeypox is public health emergency of international concern

Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2022. 11:43 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The World Health Organization (WHO) is scheduled to meet again to determine if Monkeypox is a public health emergency of international concern, CNN reports.

Cases continue to rise globally with almost 7,000 cases being reported and 3 deaths.

In June, WHO had convened a meeting to determine if the outbreak warranted such a declaration, but at the time it did not.

However, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wants the committee to meet again, based on the latest data on the epidemiology and evolution of the outbreak.

WHO defines a public health emergency of international concern, or PHEIC, as “an extraordinary event” that constitutes a “public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease” and that may “potentially require a coordinated international response.”

Tedros says that due to the scale and spread of the virus, he is concerned as testing remains a challenge.

“Testing remains a challenge, and it’s highly probable that a significant number of cases are not picked up. Europe is the current epicenter of the outbreak, recording more than 80% of cases globally,” he stated.

In addition, WHO is working with vaccine manufacturers to coordinate sharing of vaccines for monkeypox.

At this time, early data has suggested that most of the reported cases are among men who identify as gay, bisexual, or men who have sex with men.

However, monkeypox is not considered a sexually transmitted disease.

Scientists say that anyone regardless of sexual orientation is at risk of catching monkeypox if they are in close, physical contact with an infected person.


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