WHO Director General Dr Tedros says the outbreak is concentrated among men who have sex with men and with multiple sexual partners.
GENEVA, July 24 (The CONNECT) - The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared monkeypox outbeak a public health emergency of international concern.
There are now more than 16,000 reported cases from 75 countries and territories, and five deaths, the UN health body said.
WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the global media last night (IST) that “we have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly, through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little, and which meets the criteria in the International Health Regulations”.
In light of the evolving outbreak, Dr Tedros reconvened the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations to assess the latest data and WHO’s assessment is that the risk of monkeypox is moderate globally and in all regions, except in the European region where we assess the risk as high.
The information provided by the affected countries shows that the virus has spread rapidly to many countries that have not seen it before.
Meanhile in India
The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare reviewed the functioning of health screening of international travellers arriving in India at airports and ports last week.
The meeting was attended by Airport and Port Health Officers (APHOs/PHOs) and Regional Directors from Regional Offices of Health & Family Welfare. They were advised to ensure strict health screening of all arriving international travellers which can minimize the risk of importation of monkeypox cases into the country.
They were advised and re-oriented in clinical presentation of monkeypox disease as per MoHFW’s ‘Guidelines for Management of Monkeypox Disease’.
They were also advised to coordinate with other stakeholder agencies like Immigration at international ports and airports to streamline health screening processes besides ensuring suitable linkages with hospital facilities earmarked to each port of entry for timely referral and isolation.
The meeting was attended by senior officials from International Health Division, and Disaster Management Cell.
“Although I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern,” Dr Tedros said, “for the moment this is an outbreak that is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners.”
That means that this is an outbreak that can be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups.
It’s therefore essential that all countries work closely with communities of men who have sex with men, to design and deliver effective information and services, and to adopt measures that protect the health, human rights and dignity of affected communities.