Tuesday, 7th February 2023
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

3,040 monkeypox cases reported to WHO from 47 countries since May 2022

By Chukwuma Muanya
27 June 2022   |   3:48 am
The World Health Organisation (WHO), yesterday, said since the beginning of May 2022, 3,040 cases of monkeypox have been reported to the United Nations (UN) apex health agency from 47 countries.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.(Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

Disease not int’l health emergency but requires monitoring’

The World Health Organisation (WHO), yesterday, said since the beginning of May 2022, 3,040 cases of monkeypox have been reported to the United Nations (UN) apex health agency from 47 countries.

Director-General of WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, while transmitting the Report of the Meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the multi-country outbreak, yesterday, said there were more than 3,200 confirmed cases and one death reported to the agency in 48 countries between January 1, 2022 and June 15, 2022.

According to the situation update, the death occurred in Nigeria. He concurred with the advice offered by the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee, noting that the outbreak, currently, does not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

Ghebreyesus said transmission is occurring in many countries that have not previously reported cases of monkeypox, and the highest numbers are from countries in the WHO European Region.

“Overall, in the report, they (the emergency committee) advised me that at this moment, the event does not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, which is the highest level of alert WHO can issue but recognise that the convening of the committee itself reflects the increasing concern about the international spread of monkeypox,” he said.

Ghebreyesus noted further: “Initial cases of monkeypox detected in several countries in different WHO regions had no epidemiological links to areas that have historically reported monkeypox, suggesting that undetected transmission might have been ongoing for some time in those countries.

The majority of confirmed cases of monkeypox are male and most of these occur among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in urban areas and are clustered in social and sexual networks.”

He called for intensified surveillance for monkeypox, cautioning: “While men who have sex with men have been most affected in these new outbreaks, there are also risks of severe disease for immune-compromised persons, pregnant women and children if they are infected.”

Health care workers are also at risk if they don’t wear appropriate personal protective equipment, Ghebreyesus said in his opening remarks at the meeting.

Last week, Ghebreyesus said: “The virus is behaving unusually from how it used to behave in the past,” and as more countries became affected, a coordinated response was necessary.