the disease worries but is not a “global health emergency”, according to the WHO

published on Sunday, June 26, 2022 at 08:56

Monkeypox is usually mild and usually heals on its own after two to three weeks.

Monkey pox is progressing, a first case of contamination was confirmed in a child in Île-de-France on Saturday June 25. For the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), this global outbreak of the disease is a health threat whose evolution is very worrying.

However, it has not yet reached the stage of a global health emergency.

The director general of this UN agency, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, had convened a meeting of experts on the issue on Thursday to find out whether the WHO should trigger its highest level of alert in the face of the epidemic, which mainly affects Western Europe. A spike in monkeypox cases has been detected since early May, far from central and west African countries where the disease has long been endemic. More 3,200 confirmed cases and one death have been reported to WHO by around 50 countries where the disease is not endemic this year.

“In addition, since the beginning of 2022, nearly 1,500 suspected cases and around 70 deaths have been reported in Central Africa, mainly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Cameroon, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday. emergency shared deep concerns regarding the scale and speed of spread of the current outbreak,” noting many unknowns about the phenomenon, he said in a statement released after reviewing the experts’ report, which represents their consensus position.

A disease considered rare

“Overall, in the report, they suggested to me that at the moment the event does not constitute not a public health emergency of international concern (USPPI), which is WHO’s highest level of alert, but they agreed that the convening of the committee itself reflects growing concerns about the international spread of monkeypox,” according to the text.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had announced on June 14 that he was convening an emergency committee to assess whether the current outbreak constituted a USPPI. The last USPPI was declared in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Known in humans since 1970, monkeypox or “simian orthopoxvirus” is a disease considered rare. It first results in a high fever and quickly evolves into a rash, with the formation of scabs. Most often benign it usually heals spontaneously after two to three weeks. It is usually due to a virus transmitted to humans by infected animals. But in the current outbreak, human-to-human transmission is in the foreground.

The majority of reported cases so far involve men who have sex with men. If it is not not a sexually transmitted infection, transmission can occur through close contact such as sexual intercourse.

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