The WHO says Monekypox is not an emergency for global health

The WHO, however, pointed to the “emergency nature” of the epidemic and said that control of its spread required a “tight” response.

LONDON, UK – The World Health Organization says the growing monkey pox epidemic in more than 50 countries should be closely monitored, but does not guarantee a state of emergency for global health.

In a statement on Saturday, the WHO’s emergency committee said many aspects of the epidemic were “unusual” and acknowledged that the monkey flower, which is endemic in some African countries, has been neglected for years.

“Although several members disagreed, the committee decided by consensus to inform the WHO Director-General that the epidemic should not create a global health emergency at this stage,” the statement said.

The WHO, however, pointed to the “emergency nature” of the epidemic and said that control of its spread required a “tight” response.

The committee said the epidemic “should be closely monitored and reviewed in a few weeks.” However, if some new developments occur, for example, cases among sex workers; will recommend a reassessment earlier if it spreads to other countries or existing countries. there were already cases; increasing intensity of work; or an increase in the rate of propagation.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus called the emergency committee on Thursday after expressing concern about the monkey epidemic in countries that had not previously reported the disease.

“What is particularly worrying about the current epidemic is the rapid, ongoing spread to new countries and regions and the risk of persistent infection in vulnerable groups, including people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and children,” the WHO chief said.

Monkeypox has plagued people in central and western Africa for decades, but until last month, it was not known if the disease had caused significant epidemics in many countries at the same time and affected people with no travel connections to the continent.

The declaration of a global health emergency means that a health crisis is an “emergency” event that requires a globally managed response, and the risk of the disease crossing borders is high. The WHO has previously issued similar statements for diseases, including COVID-19, Ebola in Congo and West Africa, Zika in Brazil and ongoing efforts to eradicate polio.

The declaration of a state of emergency serves as a plea to draw more global resources and attention to an epidemic. Past announcements have had a mixed effect, given that the WHO is too weak to try to persuade countries to take action.

The WHO said this week it had confirmed more than 3,200 monkey pox infections in about 40 countries that had not previously reported the disease. The vast majority of cases are in men who are gay, bisexual or have sex with other men, and more than 80% of cases are in Europe.

The World Health Organization’s top adviser said last month’s rise in Europe was linked to sexual activity by men in two countries, Spain and Belgium, and that it was “a coincidence” that it appeared in gay and bisexual societies. British officials say there are often men in the UK who say they have sex with other men in places such as saunas and sex clubs.

Scientists warn that anyone who comes in close physical contact with an infected monkey, or their clothes or bedding, is at risk of contracting the disease, regardless of sexual orientation.

People with monkey pox often experience symptoms such as fever, body aches, and rashes; most recover within weeks without the need for medical attention.

In Africa, the monkey flower mainly affects people who come in contact with infected wild animals such as rodents or primates. About 1,500 monkey flowers, including 70 deaths, have been reported in Congo, Cameroon and the Central African Republic.

To date, scientists have not found any mutations in the ape flower virus that indicate that it is more contagious or deadly, although the number of changes detected indicates that the virus has been spreading for years without being detected.

The non-African version of the disease typically has a mortality rate of less than 1%, while the African version can kill up to 10% of affected people.

The WHO is also creating a mechanism for the exchange of vaccines for monkey pox, which could see the vaccines go to rich countries such as Britain, which currently has the largest epidemic outside of Africa.

Some experts have warned that the coronavirus pandemic could exacerbate deep inequalities between rich and poor countries.

Columbia University expert on disaster preparedness and response measures Dr. “France, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom already have a lot of resources and a lot of vaccines to deal with this, and they don’t need WHO vaccines,” said Irwin Redlener. .

“All we have to do is try to help African countries where the monkey flower is endemic and largely ignored,” he said. “Monkey flower is not COVID, but we should not distract our attention so much that it becomes a problem only when it is seen in rich countries.”

The WHO says Monekypox is not an emergency for global health

Source link The WHO says Monekypox is not an emergency for global health

Back to top button