“Now it is clear that an emergency situation has arisen, i.e. [that] even the virus is behaving unusually compared to how it has behaved in the past,” Tedros told reporters on Tuesday.
In the USA where 65 cases registeredThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that some people infected with monkeypox do not show the usual symptoms. The rash associated with monkeypox appears milder in certain parts of the body, making it difficult to diagnose, according to the CDC.
Rosamund Lewis, who’s technical lead for monkeypox, confirmed that this is true for many international cases. But the disease is nonetheless contagious and can be passed on by an infected person until the rash heals, she said.
Why is it important: A public health emergency of international concern is a warning to governments to prepare their health reserves to respond to a circulating virus or disease.
It will also entail international coordination of the response to ensure that the disease is contained everywhere so that it does not continue to spread.
Although monkeypox is not as contagious as Covid-19 and does not pose as high a risk of severe illness, the WHO is working to avoid a repeat of the inequitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments that left many poor countries without access for months. .
Meanwhile, rich countries are placing orders for Bavarian Nordic’s Jynneos vaccine, which has been approved for smallpox and monkeypox in the US and Canada.
The US has ordered half a million doses by the end of the year, and the European Union has ordered more than 100,000 doses for the coming months.
More doses are on the way as the US has ordered production of millions more from 2023 to 2025 using materials already owned by the government.