Monkeypox now a global health emergency, WHO warns 'further spread'| Top 10

Published on Jul 23, 2022 07:51 PM IST

Monkeypox cases have been reported from over 70 countries, the world health body said. 

Monkeypox: An employee of the vaccine company Bavarian Nordic works in a laboratory of the company in Martinsried near Munich, Germany, The company, headquartered in Denmark, is the only one in the world to have approval for a smallpox vaccine called Jynneos in the U.S. and Imvanex in Europe, which is also effective against monkeypox. (REUTERS)
Monkeypox: An employee of the vaccine company Bavarian Nordic works in a laboratory of the company in Martinsried near Munich, Germany, The company, headquartered in Denmark, is the only one in the world to have approval for a smallpox vaccine called Jynneos in the U.S. and Imvanex in Europe, which is also effective against monkeypox. (REUTERS)
By, New Delhi

With over 16,000 cases reported from 75 countries and territories, monkeypox is now a public health emergency, the World Health Organization said on Saturday. The risk of monkeypox “is moderate globally and in all regions”, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. He, however, also added that in the European region, the risk has been assessed to be high.

Here are ten points on the monkeypox cases:

1. "There is also a clear risk of further international spread, although the risk of interference with international traffic remains low for the moment. So in short, we have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly, through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little and which meets the criteria in the International Health Regulations. For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern," the WHO chief underlined.

2. The cases have been spreading in non-endemic nations since May. The virus was confined for decades to the African continent.

3. An expert committee that had met Thursday over the global spread of the virus had failed to reach a consensus, Dr Ghebreyesus confirmed during the latest briefing.

4. What does a public health emergency mean? It means a global coordinated response is needed to fight the virus.

5. A large number of cases have been reported among men who have sex with men. However, the world health body has urged an approach beyond discrimination.

6. This is the latest virus to put the world on alert after coronavirus. Marburg virus outbreak in Africa’s Ghana has also sparked concerns.

7. According to the world health body, “vaccines used during the smallpox eradication programme also provided protection against monkeypox. Newer vaccines have been developed of which one has been approved for prevention of monkeypox.”

8. The European Union drug regulator on Friday recommended the smallpox vaccine 'Imvanex', made by Bavarian Nordic, in the flight against the virus.

9. The fatality ratio is said to be around 3-6 per cent and symptoms last for 2-4 weeks.

10. “Monkeypox is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus. Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding,” says the WHO.

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