The World Health Organization said on Thursday it will reconvene the expert committee on monkeypox on July 21 to decide whether the outbreak is a global health emergency. or not.
A second meeting of the WHO emergency committee on monkeypox will be held, with the UN health agency now aware of 9,200 cases in 63 countries according to the final update released on Monday. Three.
There have been reports of an increase in smallpox infections in monkeys since early May outside of Western and Central African countries, where the disease has long been endemic.
On June 23, WHO convened an emergency committee of experts to decide whether monkeypox constitutes a so-called Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). ) or not – the highest level of alarm WHO can issue.
But the majority advised WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that the situation, at the time, had not reached that threshold.
Now a second meeting will be held, with the number of cases increasing.
“The emergency committee will provide its views to the WHO Director-General on whether the event constitutes a PHEIC,” the UN health agency said in a statement.
“If so, it would suggest interim recommendations on how to better prevent and reduce the spread of disease and manage the global public health response.”
A statement will be released in the days following the meeting.
According to WHO, most monkeypox infections to date have been observed in men who have sex with men, in young adulthood and mainly in urban areas.
The committee will review trends, the effectiveness of countermeasures, and make recommendations for what countries and communities should do to tackle the outbreak, Tedros said at a news conference today. Tuesday.
He said WHO is working closely with civil society and the LGBTQ community, “especially to address the stigma surrounding the virus” and spread the word to help people stay safe.
He added: “WHO continues to work with countries and vaccine manufacturers to coordinate the sharing of vaccines that are currently scarce.
The Geneva-based organization is also working with countries and experts to advance the research and development process.
“We must work to prevent further transmission and advise governments to implement contact tracing to help track and contain the virus and assist people in isolation,” said Tedros.
A week ago, WHO issued its first situation report on the spread of monkeypox, detailing the typical profile of people affected by the outbreak to date.
According to available statistics, most affected patients so far have been male, with an average age of 37, with three-fifths identified as men who have sex with men, the WHO said. .
Normal early symptoms of monkeypox include high fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a chickenpox-like rash.
But the report says that during this outbreak, many cases were without the classically described clinical presentation.
Of the cases that reported at least one symptom, 81% had a widespread rash on the body, 50% had a fever, and 41% had a genital rash.
WHO’s 16-member emergency committee on monkeypox is chaired by Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele from the Democratic Republic of Congo, former director of WHO’s Department of Vaccines and Immunization.
There have been six PHEIC declarations since 2009, the last one for Covid-19 in 2020 – although the slow global response to the alarm still worries WHO headquarters.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from the syndication feed.)