The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Saturday declared monkeypox a global health emergency, which is the highest level of alert. So far, more than 16,000 cases of monkeypox have been detected across 75 countries around the world, out of which 4 have been detected in India.
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In a press conference in Geneva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said that the rapid spreading of the monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern. He said that the current risk of the disease is high in the European region but is moderate in the rest of the globe.
The WHO’s ‘public health emergency of international concern’ label is designed to alarm the member countries to come together for a coordinated international response to tackle the spread of disease. It can also entail collaborations between countries on sharing treatments and vaccines with global funding efforts.
Tedros stated that members of the expert committee that met on Thursday failed to reach a consensus on declaring monkeypox a global emergency with six members in favour and nine members against the declaration. However, the final decision had to be taken by the Director-General and so, he decided to go ahead with the declaration.
The WHO Director-General also said that the risk of further international spread of monkeypox is certain. However, it is less likely to interfere with international traffic movement as of now.
As per current trends, men are at a greater risk of contracting monkeypox as compared to women.
Monkeypox spreads through coming in close contact with an infected person or animal. It can also spread through the exchange of body fluids or by touching contaminated materials of the infected person like clothes.
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