WHO Declares Monkeypox Spread a Global Health Emergency

WHO has determined that monkeypox constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.

On July 23, 2022, World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the monkeypox virus (MPV) constitutes a public health emergency of international concern. At the time of the announcement, approximately 17,000 confirmed infections in 75 countries have been recorded.

The announcement follows the second meeting of WHO’s International Health Regulations Emergency Committee, which was unable to reach a consensus on the issue. While WHO generally follows the recommendations of this committee (having done so following the first meeting, which advised against the declaration), the lack of consensus left the decision to WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“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,” said Ghebreyesus in a statement to the press. “For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.”

As a result of this declaration, a set of temporary measures will be instituted; what measures each country is recommended to follow is dependent on the level of severity of MPV in that country. A full list of these measures can be found in the announcement here.

Source: World Health Organization