Monkeypox next pandemic? WHO’s answer likely soon World News

Monkeypox next pandemic?  WHO's answer likely soon  World News

Monkeypox is said to have spread to over 50 countries, infecting thousands of people since May.

Has monkeypox become the next global health emergency after Covid? The World Health Organization is likely to come up with an answer soon after the first Emergency Committee meeting regarding the multination outbreak was called Thursday. “The objectives of this meeting are to provide views to the Director-General of WHO on whether the event constitutes a public health emergency of international concern and also on proposed potential temporary recommendations,” an official statement reads.

If tagged as a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)’, the infection due to the monkeypox virus will be put in the same category as Covid.

About two years ago, the world health body had drawn criticism for the delay in declaring coronavirus a pandemic. This happened at the time Ebola outbreak too. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, now experiencing the second largest Ebola outbreak in recorded history, notified WHO of the outbreak on Aug 1, 2018, but WHO required four Emergency Committee meetings, including on Oct 17, 2018 (216 confirmed cases, 139 deaths, and 64% case fatality ratio), and April 12 and June 14, 2019 (four confirmed cases in Uganda), “an old article on the Lancet journal highlights.

Meanwhile, the World Health Network (WHN) – an independent coalition of scientists formed in response to the Covid-19 threat – urged the WHO to consider monkeypox as a pandemic.

“Declaration – the WHN today announced they are declaring the current monkeypox outbreak a pandemic with over 3500 cases across 58 countries and rapidly expanding across continents. The outbreak will not stop without concerted global action,” American public health scientist and WHN co-founder Eric Feigl-Ding tweeted.

Monkeypox had been confined to Africa for decades but since May, a surge has been reported in Europe, the United States, Australia and many other parts of the world.

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