World news. WHO declares global health emergency for monkeypox. The World Health organisation triggered the highest level of alert to try stop the spread of monkeypox.
According to Reuters, the disease has affected nearly 17,000 people in 74 countries, the director-general announced.
WHO labelled the disease a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) and is designed to trigger a coordinated international response and could unlock funding to collaborate on sharing vaccines and treatments.
The UN health agency said the term implies the situation is serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected, that it carries implications for public health beyond national borders, and that it could require immediate international attention.
“I have decided to declare a public health emergency of international concern ,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press conference, stating that the risk in the world is relatively moderate except in Europe, where it has increased.
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There have so far been 16,016 monkeypox cases – 4,132 of which were in the past weeks according to data from WHO. It is now in 75 countries and territories and there have been five deaths.
The European region has the highest number of total cases, at 11,865, and the highest increase in the last seven days, with 2,705.
Monkeypox is a viral infection commonly found in central and western Africa and may also cause outbreaks in humans. Cases are occasionally identified in countries where the virus is not endemic, but the latest out break has been unprecedented.