Image Credit: cdc.gov
The World Health Organisation has declared the rapidly spreading monkeypox disease a global health emergency, which is its highest level of alert, WHO's Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Saturday.
A "public health emergency of international concern" by WHO alerts countries across the world that a coordinated response is required and can prompt agencies to fund and collaborate on sharing information, vaccines and treatments.
Members of an expert committee that met on Thursday to discuss whether the monkeypox outbreak should be declared a global emergency.
According to a Reuters report, Tedros told a press conference in Geneva on Saturday that the committee had failed to reach a consensus, with nine members against and six in favour of the declaration.
The report said that Tedros decided to back the highest level of alert due to concerns over escalating case rates and a short supply of vaccines and treatments, despite the lack of a majority opinion.
Till now, over 16,000 monkeypox cases have been reported in more than 75 countries and five deaths in Africa.
The disease - which causes flu-like symptoms and pus-filled lesions on the skin - has been spreading mainly in men who have sex with men in the recent outbreak, outside Africa where it is endemic.
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