The World Health Organization on Saturday refused to declare the unique Monkeypox outbreak that has spread the world as a public health emergency.
A public health emergency of international concern, or PHEIC, gives the WHO Director-General certain powers, as well as the ability to recommend how countries should respond. While it is a legal lever that the agency can use, it is also a tool that can grab public attention and steer it to try to address the major health threats. Such a declaration could further rally donors and member states to increase funding.
The WHO can review its decision. In January 2020, for example, the WHO did not declare the emerging coronavirus crisis as PHEIC, only to do so a week later.
The announcement came after a WHO emergency committee met on Thursday to discuss the outbreak. Some 3,000 cases have been documented since mid-May, mostly in Europe and the Americas – outside the regions of West and Central Africa, where the virus is endemic to animal shelters. Most of the cases were in homosexual, bisexual, and other men who had sex with men, with many occurring in men who had some recent sex partners. One death was reported, in an immunocompromised person.
Despite the PHEIC decision, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tried to emphasize the seriousness of the threat, noting that the sign of an emergency committee was a sign in the first place. In a statement, Tedros noted that the outbreak was “clearly an evolving health threat” which “now requires our collective attention and coordinated action.” But he said that the committee that advised him on the issue had decided that the outbreak did not yet affect PHEIC, and he agreed.
“As far as the current outbreak is concerned, the rapid, persistent spread to new countries and regions and the risk of further, sustainable transmission and vulnerable populations including immunocompromised people, pregnant women and children,” Tedros said in the statement. “Therefore, it is urgent that all Member States, communities and individuals take up the Committee’s recommendations for enhanced monitoring, improved diagnostic community engagement and risk communication, and appropriate use of therapies, vaccinations, and public health measures including contact tracing and isolation.”
In a summary of the committee’s discussion, the WHO said the group acknowledged that facets of the outbreak were unusual and that the response required clear international efforts, but that “while some members expressed differing views”, the committee a consensus was reached that the outbreak. did not apply to a PHEIC. The committee said it should reconsider the decision depending on whether the cases are accelerated in the coming weeks; more countries are starting to report cases; if there are upticks and cases in other groups of people, including sex workers; and if there are signs, the virus becomes more contagious or begins to cause more serious illness.
A PHEIC (pronounced “false”) describes an exceptional or unusual health threat that poses risks elsewhere due to international proliferation and requires a coordinated response. PHEICs are typically declared when urgent international action is needed.
A PHEIC is not the same as a pandemic. The former is a technical mechanism that the WHO can use, while the latter is a rhetorical recognition of a large global spread of a disease. When the WHO began to refer to Covid-19 as a pandemic, for example, it was a reflection of the scale of the crisis, not a movement that gave the agency more power.
The WHO has worked to try to ensure the fair distribution of vaccines and drugs that prevent and treat Monkeypox. These vaccines and treatments are in limited supply and countries in Europe and America have tried to buy more of them.
In the past, Monkeypox infections, which were seen outside of countries where the virus is endemic, were typically imported cases or involved limited household transmission. This is the first time that the virus has spread more widely in other countries.
Gregg Gonsalves, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, disagreed with the WHO decision, calling it a “point.” He said he felt the criteria had been met and that a PHEIC declaration had pushed the public health authorities to step up their response and better coordinate across countries.
Gonsalves served as an adviser to the emergency commission, but did not say whether a PHEIC should be declared.
“A widespread outbreak of this disease is not good for anyone,” he said, noting that African public health officials have been saying for years that Monkeypox needs more global attention. “Right now, we are not at the top of our game with Monkeypox, at least in the US,” he added, pointing to the patchy surveillance system and limited vaccination.
Monkeypox infections can lead to painful lesions and rashes, including vesicles that form on the palm of the hand. Some of the cases in the current outbreak were mild and diverged from textbook cases of infection, with people having only a few genital or anal lesions rather than wider rashes. Many of the cases in the current outbreak were relatively mild, although some patients were hospitalized for pain management as the infection progressed.
The virus is spread by close contact, mainly through respiratory drops or direct exposure to lesions or contaminated clothing or linen.
Some countries have started vaccinating contacts of people with infections, and some have recently expanded eligibility criteria, with health officials in the UK, parts of Canada, and New York City offering vaccinations to a wider group of men who have sex with men have got.
Although documented case numbers have risen recently, genetic analyzes suggest that the virus could circulate among low-level people for several years before leaving.
In the current outbreak, the U.S. reported 200 Monkeypox cases, although public health experts are concerned that the number does not reflect the true breadth of the spread of the virus. Germany has identified more than 675 cases, Portugal more than 300, and the United Kingdom more than 900.
South Africa on Thursday also reported a case in a person who had no recent travel history.
Separately, the U.S. announced on Wednesday that it had begun sending Monkeypox tests to five commercial lab companies to expand tests. The nation’s RAW testing capacity was not the key issue, but clinicians and attorneys reported the process of getting a test – which involved contacting local health departments and a two-step test regimen – was too complicated and made it difficult to Finding individuals clinics willing to offer tests.
The PHEIC designation was established in an update of the International Health Regulations following the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak. The regulations agreed by WHO member states are designed to help the world respond to public health threats while avoiding “unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade”, according to the WHO.
The first PHEIC was declared for the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, and others included Ebola outbreaks and the Zika epidemic. The two active PHEICs are for Covid-19 and the further transmission of polio.
What is the cure for monkeypox?
There are no treatments specifically for Monkeypox virus infections. This may interest you : UVM receives $ 5.5 million to launch a joint health center. However, Monkeypox and smallpox virus are genetically similar, meaning that antiviral drugs and vaccines designed to protect against smallpox can be used to prevent and treat Monkeypox virus infections.
Does Monkeypox Cause Death? Monkeypox is caused by the Monkeypox virus, a member of the orthopoxvirus genus Poxviridae. Monkeypox is usually a self-limiting disease with symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks. Severe cases can occur. Lately, the fall fatality rate has been around 3-6%.
How can monkeypox be prevented?
Prevention and Care: To reduce the chance of getting or spreading Monkeypox, do not engage in sex or other close physical contact (such as touch, massage, or kissing) if you or your partner are sick, and especially if you or they have a new one. or unexpected rash or wounds all over the body.
What happens when you get monkeypox?
A rash that may look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, mouth and other parts of the body like hands, feet, chest, genitals or anus. The rash goes through several stages before it heals completely. This may interest you : The “Big Resignations” come to health jobs in Idaho. The disease usually lasts 2-4 weeks.
Can you heal from monkey pox?
Monkeypox is usually mild and most people recover within a few weeks without treatment. However, because the infection can spread through close contact, it is important to isolate it when you are diagnosed with it. To see also : To launch a mental health program for firefighters to boost fire spending – Oregon Capital Chronicle. You may be asked to isolate yourself at home if your symptoms are mild.
Should I worry about monkeypox?
It can be a very serious disease. But if it is caught early, and depending on which strain, it may not be. The moment is the current star cluster of cases from that soft stem. However, deaths from Monkeypox infections have been reported.
What countries have monkeypox?
In addition, so far this year, almost 1,500 suspected cases of Monkeypox and around 70 deaths have been reported in Central Africa, mainly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but also in the Central African Republic and Cameroon. Some of these cases have been confirmed, and little is known about their circumstances.
Where is Monkeypox most prevalent? Monkeypox is an infection caused by a virus in the same family as smallpox. It causes a similar (but usually less severe) disease and is most prevalent in Central and West Africa. It was first discovered more than half a century ago in research monkeys.
What countries have monkey pox?
You have been to an area where Monkeypox has been reported or to an area where Monkeypox is more commonly found (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan) .
How common is monkeypox in the US?
US Monkeypox cases are very rare. Monkeypox does not occur naturally in the United States, but cases have occurred that are associated with international travel or import animals from areas where the disease is more common.
How many monkeypox in usa?
There are now over 25 Monkeypox infections confirmed in 12 US states and DC. There are an estimated 900 cases worldwide.
How common is Monkeypox in the US? US Monkeypox cases are very rare. Monkeypox does not occur naturally in the United States, but cases have occurred that are associated with international travel or import animals from areas where the disease is more common.
Who is high risk for monkey pox?
Who is at risk? Currently, there is an outbreak in non-African countries, and many affected patients were men who had close social or intimate (even sexual) contact with men. Monkeypox is found mainly in Central and West Africa, often in tropical forest areas, although Monkeypox is also widespread in cities.
Is monkey pox in the US?
Monkeypox viral infections continue to be reported around the world, and cases have more than doubled in the US. Last week, 25 Monkeypox cases were reported across 12 states. There are over 900 cases worldwide in around 30 countries.