When Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus revealed his decision to declare a health emergency during a news conference in Geneva, he said that the committee had concluded with nine members against and six in favour.
The rapidly spreading monkeypox outbreak, according to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is a global health emergency, the organization’s highest level of alert.
A coordinated worldwide response is needed, and the WHO’s declaration of a “public health emergency of international concern” may mobilise funding and international collaboration on the sharing of vaccines and treatments.
Members of an expert group that met on Thursday to discuss the prospective proposal were divided on the subject, according to two sources who spoke to Reuters earlier on the condition of anonymity, but the director-general of the U.N. agency has the final word.
When he revealed his decision to declare the health emergency at a news conference in Geneva, Tedros stated that the committee had been unable to reach a consensus, with nine voting against and six voting in favour of the announcement.
Tedros has often supported choices made by expert committees, but the sources claim that despite the lack of agreement, he opted to endorse the highest alert level due to concerns about growing case rates and a lack of vaccines and treatments.
Lawrence Gostin, a professor of law at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., stated to the WHO that he respected the organization’s political tenacity.
“It only serves to enhance WHO’s reputation. The correct outcome is obvious: to wait to declare an emergency would be a historically significant squandered opportunity.”
More than 75 nations have recorded more than 16,000 cases of monkeypox so far this year, with five fatalities happening in Africa.
The viral infection, which spreads through intimate contact and typically causes flu-like symptoms and pus-filled skin sores, has been mostly afflicting guys who have sex with men during the most recent pandemic, which is occurring outside of Africa where it is common.
The ongoing battle against polio and the coronavirus outbreak is the only thing the phrase has previously been used to refer to.
The WHO and national governments have been under intense pressure from scientists and public health experts to take stronger action against monkeypox.
When the committee first met at the end of June, there were only about 3,000 cases, but since then, the number of cases of viral sickness has exploded.
If the pandemic worsened, the expert group had previously decided to reconsider the emergency classification.
One of the key worries that led to a reassessment was whether infections, which are almost exclusively spreading among guys who have sex with males, may spread to other groups, particularly children or those who had already been exposed to the virus in endemic regions.
Interesting facts about the monkeypox
- The cause of monkeypox is the monkeypox virus, a species of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae.
- Monkeypox often has symptoms that last between two and four weeks and is a self-limiting condition. Severe instances might exist. Recently, the case mortality rate ranged from 3 to 6%.
- Humans can get monkeypox through coming into close contact with an infected animal or person, as well as by touching contaminated materials.
- The monkeypox virus can be transferred from one person to another by coming into close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated things like bedding.
- The monkeypox virus is a zoonotic disease that is most prevalent in tropical rainforest areas of central and west Africa, with infrequent exportations to other locations.
- An antiviral medication that was once used to treat smallpox has been formally approved for the treatment of monkeypox.
- Newer vaccines are now available, one of which is approved for the protection of monkeypox.
- The orthopoxvirus infection known as monkeypox resembles smallpox clinically, which was eradicated worldwide in 1980. Monkeypox is less contagious and presents with milder symptoms than smallpox.
- The clinical signs of monkeypox, which can cause a range of health problems, frequently include fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes.
The first two cases of monkeypox in children in the nation were found on Friday.
The committee has said that any changes to the virus itself might lead to a reevaluation.
According to the sources, the group is currently split between those who think that a declaration of an emergency would hasten efforts to contain the disease and those who do not think that the conditions have been met because the disease has not yet spread to new populations or had a high fatality rate.
Are we humans still able to combat another pandemic, given the devastation the Corona epidemic wrought, or will we be more prepared this time?
share your thoughts in the comment section and follow us for more informative stuff.