The World Health Organization reported 16,000 cases worldwide. However, it stated that this spike remains concentrated in gay men.
The World Health Organization on Saturday declared the global spread of monkeypox a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’, one level below the pandemic status assigned to Covid-19. Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus from WHO stated that 16,000 cases have been reported in 75 countries.
Since January 2020’s declaration of a worldwide pandemic, Covid-19 (in January 2020), the WHO has not labeled the monkeypox epidemic as a public health crisis.
“We have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly, through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little,” Tedros said after a discussion with the WHO’s emergency committee. Tedros said that monkeypox is spreading in places where it’s not usually found and also the risk to human life. “for all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.”
Monkeypox looks similar to smallpox in humans and has been endemic in some parts of central and west Africa. The symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headaches muscle aches, backache and swollen glands.
The first European cases occurred almost exclusively in gay and bisexual men, with health officials noting that lesions were appearing on patients’ genitals. Tedros said that although it’s not clear if the current epidemic is spread solely by sexual contact, Tedros believes so. “this is an outbreak that is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners.”
Tedros called for gay man groups to be represented. “adopt measures that protect both the health, human rights and dignity of affected communities,”However, the WHO chief didn’t call on them to stop having sex.
The production of a combined vaccine against smallpox/monkeypox has begun. It is currently being distributed in large cities across the US, UK and other European countries.
While some monkeypox strains from Africa can infect up to 36% of their victims, this current epidemic appears much milder. Tedros claims that five of the victims have been killed by this disease so far.
France demands monkeypox jab to sex workers
The USA recorded the first child-related cases one day prior to the WHO meeting. Both of these cases “are traced back to individuals who come from the…gay men’s community,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky told the Washington Post, although she did not clarify whether these children caught the disease sexually or non-sexually, for example through contact with a patient’s clothing.
Five children have been infected in Europe.