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Monkeypox is deemed a worldwide health emergency by the WHO.

The World Health Organization (WHO) elevated monkeypox to the highest level of alert for a disease on Saturday.

Despite an advisory body’s inability to reach a consensus on the designation, WHO Director Tedros Ghebreyesus claimed the choice had been made.

Tedros claimed his choice served as a “tiebreaker” because there was a tie with nine expert committee members opposing the move and six voting in favor.

In 75 nations and territories, he claimed, there have been more than 16,000 cases and five fatalities.

The WHO has determined that there is a moderate risk of monkeypox worldwide and in all regions, with the exception of the European region, where we have determined that there is a high risk. “We have a pandemic that has rapidly spread over the world via novel routes of transmission, of which we know much too little.”

Although there is still a limited chance of interfering with international commerce, he added there is a clear possibility of further worldwide spread.

Tedros claimed that these factors led him to the conclusion that the epidemic qualifies as a public health emergency of worldwide concern, the WHO’s designation for the most serious threat.

Despite the fact that I am announcing a public health emergency of global significance, for the time being, this outbreak is mostly affecting males who have sex with men, particularly those who have several sexual partners, the doctor stated.

He argued that the outbreak might be stopped if the appropriate tactics were used by the appropriate groups.

Therefore, it is crucial that all nations collaborate with groups of men who have sex with men in order to produce and deliver information and services that are effective, as well as to enact policies that safeguard the communities in question’s health, human rights, and dignity.

Be cautious of stigma

He issued a warning that stigma and discrimination can be just as harmful as viruses.

Tedros urged civil society organizations, including those with expertise dealing with HIV-positive individuals, to collaborate with the WHO to fight stigma and discrimination in addition to making recommendations to governments.

With the resources at our disposal, he asserted, we can halt transmission and put an end to this crisis.

Instances of monkeypox have been documented since early May 2022 in both endemic and non-endemic nations, according to the WHO.

In contrast to West or Central Africa, where the monkeypox virus is widespread, the majority of verified cases with a travel history included trips to Europe and North America.

This is the first instance of monkeypox cases and clusters being reported simultaneously in endemic and non-endemic nations across diverse geographic regions.

According to the WHO, monkeypox can spread by contact with bodily fluids, skin lesions, internal mucosal surfaces, including those in the mouth and throat, respiratory droplets, and contaminated objects.

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