WHO set to decide if monkeypox represents health emergency

(VOVWORLD) - The World Health Organization will convene an emergency committee on Thursday next week to assess whether the monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.
WHO set to decide if monkeypox represents health emergency - ảnh 1Treatment for a monkeypox patient in Zomea Kaka, Republic of Central Africa (Photo: AFP/VNA)

That is the highest level of warning issued by the U.N. agency, which currently applies only to the COVID-19 pandemic and polio.

There have been 1,600 confirmed and 1,500 suspected cases of monkeypox this year and 72 deaths, WHO said, in 39 countries, including those where the virus usually spreads. Monkeypox is endemic in parts of Africa but there have been more cases both in those countries and the rest of the world in recent months. The virus causes flu-like symptoms and skin lesions, and spreads through close contact.

It is thought to be fatal in around 3-6% of cases, according to WHO, although no deaths have yet been reported in the outbreak outside Africa. The majority of deaths this year have been in the Democratic Republic of Congo.