Monkeypox outbreak declared a public health emergency
The World Health Network (WHN) has declared Monkeypox outbreak as a public health emmergency of global concern. The WHN is an independent coalition of scientists that was formed in response to the Covid-19 threat.
The coalition of scientists said on June 23, 2022 that it considered the monkeypox outbreak as a ‘pandemic’ and urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to make a formal declaration. The coalition observed that over 3,500 monkeypox cases have been confirmed in 58 countries across the world and said that the outbreak is expanding rapidly and ‘will not stop without concerted global action’.
This comes just after WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced that the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee has been convened due to the Monkeypox spread to 32 non-endemic countries. The experts are expected to meet on June 23rd to assess whether the current monkeypox spread represents a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
What does declaration of Monkeypox as pandemic mean?
The declaration of monkeypox as a pandemic or a public emergency indicates that the outbreak is not limited to a single country or region and requires immediate actions to prevent community transmission.
The World Health Network stated that immediate action is required wherever community transmission is taking place in order to ensure that the least effort is needed and the smallest impact is suffered due to this outbreak.
The declaration of public health emergency, which is the highest level of global alert, currently only applies to the COVID-19 pandemic and polio.
Monkeypox cases in the world
Monkeypox cases have been detected in at least 58 countries across the world. At least 3,417 Monkeypox cases have been confirmed through local community transmission around the world. The rate of growth of cases has been increasing week by week across multiple continents.
Monkeypox cases in India
There are no confirmed cases of monkeypox virus in India as of now. However, as per experts that India needs to be prepared in view of the increasing monkeypox cases in the non-endemic countries.
The symptoms of monkeypox cases are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox. The common symptoms of monkeypox includes-
-Muscle aches and backache
-Swollen lymph nodes
-Rash that looks like pimples or blisters on different parts of the body
The monkeypox patients also experience severe pain, blindness and death in most severe cases.
As per WHN coalition, immediate actions are needed to prevent widespread public communication about the symptoms that identify monkeypox. The experts emphasised that efforts are needed for widespread availability of testing, without restrictions.