The World Health Organization has declared the current monkeypox pandemic to be a global health emergency of the highest priority. The World Health Organization held its second emergency committee meeting on a Thursday and announced its findings early the following Saturday. Even though the committee was not expected to reach a decision, the WHO Director
General said he had already decided after considering the five criteria needed to assess whether or not an outbreak becomes a health emergency of international concern.
To to the World Health Organization, an extraordinary incidence that presents public health hazard to other States through the international transmission of sickness and may call for a coordinated worldwide response fits the definition of a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).
The organization’s crisis committee on monkeypox expressed grave concerns about the scope and speed of the viral epidemic at its first meeting in late June, but did not label it a PHEIC. The PHEIC classification was developed as a worldwide commitment to help prevent and respond to potential public health risks in the 2005 International Health Regulations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States claims that the criteria constitute a binding agreement among 196 countries to improve the ability to detect and report potential public health emergencies worldwide. To comply with the IHR, all countries must have systems in place to rapidly detect, assess, report, and respond to public health emergencies.
Two public health emergencies that began in 2014 (the polio epidemic and the Covid-19 pandemic) are still going strong. Monkeypox is related to the now-extinct smallpox virus, although it is far less dangerous. Several regions of West and Central Africa are home to this endemic disease, which is spread by rats and other small animals. Direct contact with infectious fluids, wounds, and tainted things, such as clothing and bedding, may spread monkeypox. The CDC notes that it may spread from person to person by respiratory droplets, particularly in confined spaces.
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