WHO to hold meeting over declaring monkeypox an international health emergency
The World Health Organization will be deciding whether the monkeypox outbreak will be considered a public health emergency of international concern in an emergency meeting next week. Till now, there have been 1600 confirmed cases and around 1500 suspected cases of monkeypox around the world this year. In 39 countries, the monkeypox virus has claimed 72 deaths and according to Reuters, the WHO can issue the highest level of warning for the virus. Right now, that level of warning is only prevalent for the polio virus and also the COVID-19 pandemic. "We don't want to wait until the situation is out of control," said emergencies director for Africa, Ibrahima Socé Fall.
According to the WHO data, there have been no deaths outside Africa till now, but the fatality percentage remain around 3-6 per cent for the virus. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom made it clear that the organisation will be taking the decision in the meeting next week.
Meanwhile, there have been a lot of talk about the name of the virus and Tedros said that WHO are looking to change it as quickly as possible. According to the Reuters report, WHO are currently in talks with their partners about the matter and that is a top priority for them along with the vaccines.
New guidelines for the monkeypox virus and vaccination were released earlier this week and according to Reuters, some of the countries are currently vaccinating their emergency workers with smallpox vaccines. Smallpox has been extinct for some time and the vaccine is being used right now.