LONDON (AP) – The World Health Organization convened its emergency committee on Thursday to assess whether to determine the outbreak of disease in sick monkeys as a global emergency. But some experts say the WHO’s decision to take only action when the disease was outbreak in the West could lead to inequality of events that arose between rich and poor countries at the time. coronavirus infection.
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The declaration of monkeys as a global emergency means that the UN health agency considers the disease to be a “rare condition” and that the disease is at risk of spreading to other borders. , may require a global response. It will also provide malepox with the same status as COVID-19 virus and an ongoing effort to eradicate polio.
The WHO said it did not intend to publish any decisions made by its emergency committee before Friday.
Many scientists doubt any such declaration will help prevent the disease, since developing countries that record the most recent cases are quickly shutting down.
Last week, WHO Director -General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the recent monkey disease that has appeared in more than 40 countries, mostly in Europe, as “unusual and worrying. “
Monkeypox has plagued people for years in central and western Africa, where a single disease kills 10 percent of people infected. The prevalence of the disease seen in Europe and elsewhere usually has the death toll of less than 1 per cent and no deaths outside of Africa have been reported.
“If WHO had been so concerned about the spread of monkeys, they would have called their emergency committee years ago when it reappeared in Nigeria in 2017 and no one knew why the monkey was suddenly found. hundreds of cases, ”said Oyewale Tomori, a gynecologist from Nigeria who lives on the plains. WHO advisory group. “It’s quite curious that WHO only called their experts when the disease was exposed in white countries,” he said.
Until last month, there were no major outbreaks outside of Africa. Scientists have found no changes to the virus to suggest it is more contagious, and a leading consultant to the WHO said last month that the rise in cases in Europe appears to be linked to sex between men and women two to two times in Spain and Belgium. .
To date, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed more than 3,300 cases of monkeys in 42 countries where the virus is not normally detected. More than 80 percent of the cases are in Europe. So far, Africa has seen more than 1,400 cases this year, including 62 deaths.
David Fidler, a senior fellow in global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the WHO’s new attention to monkeys amid its spread beyond Africa could increase and the unknown gap between rich and poor countries seen in COVID-19.
“There may be valid reasons why the WHO raised the issue when male monkeys spread to rich countries, but in poor countries, it seems to be a secondary phenomenon,” Fidler said. He said the international community is still struggling to ensure that the world’s poor are vaccinated against the coronavirus and it is unclear whether Africans wanted monkey vaccines, given priority vaccines such as malaria and and HIV.
“Unless African governments specifically ask for vaccines, it may be the most interesting thing to send because of the West’s desire to prevent monkeys from being exported,” Fidler said.
The WHO has also recommended creating a vaccine sharing system to help affected countries, which could see vaccines going to rich countries such as the UK, where monkeys are more vulnerable to beyond Africa – and has recently expanded its use of vaccines.
So far, most cases in Europe have been in men or women, or other men who have sex with men, but scientists have warned anyone in close contact with an infected person or their clothing or bed sheets are at risk of disease. , regardless of their sexuality. People with chickenpox often experience symptoms such as fever, body aches and itching; most recover within weeks without medical care.
Even if the WHO declares the monkey to be an emergency in the world, it is not clear what the impact might be.
In January 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 an international emergency. But few countries were observed until March, when the organization described it as a disease, weeks after several other administrations had done so. The WHO was later criticized for its many errors throughout the course of the disease, which some experts said may have caused the monkeys to respond more quickly.
“After COVID, WHO didn’t want to be the last to identify monkeys as an emergency,” said Amanda Glassman, executive vice president at the Center for Global Development. “It may not reach the level of an emergency like COVID, but it is still an emergency for public health that needs to be addressed.”
Salim Abdool Karim, an epidemiologist and vice president at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, says the WHO and others need to do more to stop monkey pox in Africa and elsewhere, but it is did not believe that the emergency declaration would help the whole world.
“There is this misconception that Africa is this poor, helpless continent, but in reality, we know how to deal with disease,” Abdool Karim said. He said the prevention of the disease depends on things like monitoring, isolation of patients and public education.
“They may need vaccinations in Europe to stop the monkey, but here, we are able to control it with simple methods,” he said.