The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that the monkeypox outbreak does not now represent a worldwide public health issue, despite the organization’s urge for aggressive response measures to stop future spread.
Although it occasionally spreads to other locations, the rare viral disease mostly affects tropical rainforest regions of Central and West Africa.
However, more than 3,000 cases have been documented in 47 countries since May of this year, many of which have never before reported the condition. Currently, Europe has the greatest rates, and the majority of instances involve guys who have sex with other men. To date, there have been a few hospitalizations and one fatality.
Using these figures, the head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus, claims that the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee on the disease agreed that the outbreak requires “coordinated action” to stop the monkeypox virus from spreading using public health measures, such as surveillance, contact tracing, isolation, and patient care.
Speaking during the committee meeting on June 23, 2022, was Dr. Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele, Chair of the IHR Emergency Committee about the multi-nation monkeypox outbreak.
The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Emergency Committee along with other members and advisers met in person and through Zoom teleconference. For the Commonwealth heads of government summit, Dr. Tedros is in Kigali.
Members of the committee held contrasting opinions about whether the incident had yet to qualify as a health emergency of worldwide concern, the highest level of global alert, which is currently only applicable to the COVID-19 pandemic and polio.
The presence of cases among sex workers, significant transmission to and within other countries, and expanding caseloads among vulnerable groups such people with poorly managed HIV infection, pregnant women, and children are all circumstances that potentially necessitate re-evaluation.
A reverse spillover to the animal population, as well as a considerable alteration in the viral genome, are other circumstances that were mentioned.
The rapid, ongoing spread into new nations and areas and the possibility of continued, sustained transmission into susceptible populations, such as immunocompromised individuals, pregnant women, and children, are what most alarm him about the current outbreak, he added.
He emphasized the necessity for both collective awareness and coordinated action through public health measures such as surveillance, contact tracing, patient isolation and care, and making sure immunizations, medicines, and other tools are readily available to communities at risk and distributed fairly.
The committee brought up the fact that monkeypox has been prevalent in several African nations for decades but has received little research, focus, or funding—a fact that has already prompted some experts to question whether there is a double standard in the reaction to the outbreak in Europe.
As the world was once again reminded, “health is an interrelated issue,” he said, “this must alter not just for Monkeypox but for other neglected illnesses in low-income nations.”
The UN organization WHO urged nations to cooperate, share information, and interact with impacted people so that public health safety measures are communicated quickly and effectively. WHO has gathered hundreds of experts and researchers to speed up research and development into monkeypox.