The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Saturday that the Monkeypox outbreak does not now constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
“The WHO Director-General concurs with the opinion provided by the IHR Emergency Committee regarding the multi-country monkeypox epidemic and, at this time, does not consider the incident to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC),” the WHO said in a news statement. The improvements occurred during a meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee in response to the multi-country monkeypox epidemic.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on the other hand, voiced grave worry. Tedros took to Twitter and stated, “The reaction demands immediate concerted effort to halt the spread of the Monkeypox virus, utilising public health measures and ensuring health tools are available to at-risk groups and equally distributed. The entire set of recommendations made by the Committee.”
The WHO Director-General expressed grave alarm about the spread of monkeypox, which has already been discovered in more than 50 countries across five WHO regions, with 3000 cases reported since early May.
The Emergency Committee expressed severe concerns about the current outbreak’s scope and pace, identified several unknowns and gaps in current data, and created a consensus report that reflects the Committee’s various viewpoints.
Overall, they advised the WHO DG in the report that the event does not currently constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, the highest level of alert WHO can issue, but acknowledged that the convening of the committee itself reflects the growing concern about the international spread of monkeypox.
The Emergency Committee stated their willingness to reassemble if needed. Since May 11, 2022, the WHO Secretariat has been informing States Parties to the IHR about this event via postings on the Event Information Site (a secured platform established by the WHO Secretariat for information sharing with States Parties to the IHR).
The purpose of these posts was to raise awareness about the scope of the epidemic, educate preparedness activities, and offer access to technical information for rapid public health interventions suggested by the WHO Secretariat.
The formation of an IHR Emergency Committee implies an increase in the degree of awareness for States Parties to the IHR and the worldwide public health community, as well as a demand for increased public health measures in response to this occurrence, according to WHO.
Transmission is happening in several previously unreported nations, with the biggest number of cases now reported from countries in the WHO European Region.
Initial monkeypox cases found in various countries in different WHO Regions showed no epidemiological linkages to places that had previously reported monkeypox, indicating that undetected transmission may have been occurring in those nations for some time.
The majority of verified monkeypox cases are male, and the bulk of these instances occur among homosexual, bisexual, and other males who have sex with men in metropolitan settings and are part of clustered social and sexual networks.