WHO to assess monkeypox as international health emergency

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The World Health Organisation said on Tuesday, that it would hold an emergency meeting next week to determine whether to classify the global monkeypox outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern.

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “The outbreak of monkeypox is unusual and concerning.

“For that reason I have decided to convene the Emergency Committee under the international health regulations next week, to assess whether this outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.”

The UN agency is also working to change the name of the disease, which was long confined to Western and Central Africa until more than 1,000 cases were detected in dozens of countries across the world over the last two months.

The emergency committee will meet on June 23 to discuss the designation, which is the highest alarm the UN agency can sound.

Tedros added that, “WHO is also working with partners and experts from around the world on changing the name of monkeypox virus and the disease it causes.

“We will make announcements about the new names as soon as possible.”

The announcement comes after more than 30 scientists wrote last week that there was an urgent need for a non-discriminatory and non-stigmatising nomenclature for monkeypox.

The normal initial symptoms of monkeypox include a high fever, swollen lymph nodes and a blistery chickenpox-like rash.

However, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that current cases do not always present flu-like symptoms, and rashes are sometimes limited to certain areas.

READ ALSO: NCDC activates emergency operations centre for monkeypox


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