Experts seriously concerned: WHO says monkeypox is not a public health emergency

Monkeypox is now spreading in more than 50 countries.

Experts seriously concerned: WHO says monkeypox is not a public health emergency

Monkeypox is now spreading in more than 50 countries. The WHO Emergency Committee is concerned about the outbreak. However, the experts do not want to declare the organization’s highest alert level, which was last used because of Corona, “at the moment”.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has not declared an international health emergency because of monkeypox. As WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced after an emergency meeting of the WHO emergency committee, the monkeypox outbreak is not currently classified as a public health emergency of international concern - the highest alert level at the WHO. The emergency committee is seriously concerned about the extent and speed of the outbreak, but advises against declaring an international health emergency "for the moment".

A less dangerous cousin of smallpox, which was eradicated about 40 years ago, monkeypox is commonly found in West and Central Africa. Since May, however, monkeypox has also been spreading to other countries, especially in Western Europe. So far this year, more than 3,200 cases of monkeypox have been reported in more than 50 countries, according to the WHO.

Typical symptoms of the disease include high fever, swollen lymph nodes and pustules similar to chickenpox. The disease is transmitted through close body and skin contact.

Tedros had described the monkeypox outbreak last week as "unusual and worrying". According to the WHO regulations, a health emergency of international concern - according to the official term - is declared in the event of a "serious, sudden, unusual and unexpected" health problem that can spread to other countries. This activates international measures. The WHO last declared a health emergency in 2020 due to the corona pandemic.

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