WHO declares monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency

The World Health Organization said on Saturday the monkeypox epidemic a global health emergency, as the number of cases and countries reporting them have increased over the past month.

“We have an epidemic that has spread rapidly around the world, via new modes of transmission, of which we understand too little,” WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a conference in hurry.

Tedros said there were now more than 16,000 cases reported in 75 countries, up from 3,040 cases reported in 47 countries a month ago. Five people have died as a result of the current outbreak, Tedros said. About 2,900 cases have been confirmed in the United States and Puerto Rico, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tedros, however, said we have the tools to bring the outbreak under control, and he called on countries to lead a coordinated response. This includes implementing measures to stop transmission and protect vulnerable groups; increase monitoring of the evolution of the epidemic; speed up research on vaccines and treatments; and develop recommendations for international travel.

Read more: What we know about the Monkeypox vaccine

Monkeypox spreads between people primarily through contact with infectious wounds, scabs, or bodily fluids, according to the CDC, but it can also be spread through prolonged face-to-face contact via respiratory droplets or by touching clothing or skin. contaminated bedding. Anyone can be infected with monkeypox, but so far many outbreaks have involved men who have sex with men.

“Although I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern,” Tedros said, “at this time, this is an outbreak that is concentrated among men who have sex with men, particularly those who have multiple sex partners. That means this is an epidemic that can be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups.”

Tedros warned that “stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus” and called on countries to adopt measures that “protect the health, human rights and dignity of affected communities”. .

He also said countries should work closely with these communities to develop outreach services and programs, and he said WHO intended to partner with civil organizations, including groups with experience working with people living with HIV, to challenge discrimination and stigma.

Gay and bisexual communities in particular tend to have “high awareness and rapid care-seeking behavior when it comes to their sexual health and that of their communities,” said Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge, regional director of the Europe, in a statement at the end of May, noting that those who requested early healthcare services should be applauded.

A monkeypox infection usually begins with flu-like symptoms, including fatigue, severe headache, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. According to the CDC, within one to three days of the onset of a fever, a rash or sores develop that can be located almost anywhere on the body, including the hands, the genitals, face, chest and inside of the mouth.

Read more: What to know about monkeypox

Notably, some people never experience flu-like symptoms, according to the CDC, and people may experience all or only some of the typical symptoms of monkeypox. For safer sex and social gatherings where people may be in close contact with other people’s bodies, the CDC has a fact sheet on practices to consider.

Close contact is a key element in the transmission of monkeypox. That, along with the fact that the virus that causes monkeypox appears to have a slower reproductive rate than the COVID-19 virus, sets it apart from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said at a press conference last month.

GameSpot’s Jessica Rendall contributed to this report.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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