The World Health Organization (WHO) will make an assessment next week whether the outbreak of monkeypox represents an emergency to international public health, given the unusual behavior of the virus and number of countries with confirmed disease.
“The global spread of monkeypox is, of course, unusual and worrying. It is for this reason that it has been decided to convene an emergency committee, in accordance with international regulations, next week to assess whether this epidemic represents an emergency for international public health ”, said the WHO director general during a press conference.
According to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, this assessment by the WHO Emergency Committee will be justified by the fact that the virus is “behaving unusually,” given the increasing number of countries infected with the disease. and because of the need for answers. , given the current prevalence of the disease.
Since the beginning of the year, the WHO has registered more than 1,600 confirmed cases of monkeypox and nearly 1,500 other suspected cases in 39 countries, including 32 countries that have not registered the disease, including ‘ that is Portugal.
According to the WHO, 72 people have died of monkeypox this year in previously infected countries, and no deaths have been recorded so far in countries without it.
“The goal of WHO is to support countries in the transmission of disease and to stop the outbreak of public health facilities, such as screening, communication monitoring and the dedication of people with the disease, ”said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The director general of the organization also stressed that the WHO does not recommend general vaccination against monkeypox and that the decision to use the smallpox vaccine for people at risk must be made in the assessment of the risks and benefits and individual cases.
According to him, the WHO is working with member states and partners to develop a way to have fair access to vaccines and treatments, as well as to change the name of the virus. and the disease, known as monkeypox.