WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared Saturday that the quickly expanding monkeypox outbreak constitutes a global health emergency, the highest level of alert issued by the organization.
The World Health Organization has declared a “public health emergency of international concern,” which is meant to serve as a warning that a concerted international response is required and which, if granted, could free up resources and encourage international cooperation on the sharing of vaccines and treatments.
After a committee of specialists was called on Thursday to investigate the potential idea, and after the group found itself divided on how to proceed, the decision was eventually delegated to the director-general of the UN agency.
Tedros provided an explanation for his decision to declare a health emergency during a news conference that was held in Geneva. He did so despite the fact that the committee had been unable to achieve a unanimous vote, with nine members voting against it and six members voting in favors of it.
According to the sources, Tedros has decided to support the highest alert level because the number of reported cases is increasing and there is a shortage of vaccines and treatments that are now accessible. In the past, Tedros has always backed the recommendations of expert committees.
Professor of law at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, Lawrence Gostin, who keeps tabs on the WHO, recently praised the organization for its political courage.
“Justifies WHO’s already high standing further. Not declaring an emergency at this time would be a tragic squandered opportunity, and the appropriate decision is obvious.”
More than 16,000 cases of monkey pox have been reported in over 75 countries this year, including five fatalities in Africa.
The recent epidemic of the viral disease, which spreads through intimate contact and typically causes flu-like symptoms and pus-filled skin lesions, has been concentrated in males who have sex with men, particularly in regions outside of Africa where the virus is endemic.
Having a gathering in June, The phrase had only been used recently in relation to the epidemic of corona virus and the ongoing effort to eradicate polio.
There has been a large amount of pressure put on the World Health Organization (WHO) and national governments to do more to battle monkey pox from the side of scientists and public health specialists.
Since the committee’s initial meeting at the end of June, when there were only around 3,000 cases, the number of reported instances of the viral disease has skyrocketed.
The medical professionals have stated that they will reconsider their decision to declare a state of emergency if the disease continues to worsen.
The question of whether the epidemic, which is spreading almost exclusively among men who have sex with other men, would spread to other groups, particularly children or other individuals who have been vulnerable to the virus in previous outbreaks in endemic countries, was a major factor that prompted a reevaluation of the situation.
On Friday, the government verified the first two cases of monkey pox among children in the United States.
The committee also emphasized that a reassessment might be necessary in the event that the virus itself underwent any kind of alteration.