In a statement Saturday, a WHO emergency committee said he escalating monkeypox outbreak in more than 50 countries is not declared a global health emergency but must be closely monitored. At the same time, the WHO acknowledged that monkeypox, which is endemic in some African countries, has now “unusual” aspects, such as the occurrence of cases in countries where monkeypox virus circulation had not been previously documented. Many people are also “presenting with atypical symptoms.” “The emergency committee shared serious concerns about the scale and speed of the current outbreak,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in rhe statement.
A few members of the committee “expressed differing views.” More than 4,000 monkeypox cases have been reported globally across 47 countries and territories since the start of May, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most monkeypox infections have been recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The fatality rate is 1%. The committee recommended taking a look at the outbreak again in a few weeks to observe any major changes. Traditionally, monkeypox patients have developed flu-like symptoms such as fever and body aches, followed by a widespread rash, including on the face, arms and hands. Monkeypox cases may resemble chickenpox, herpes or syphilis. Smallpox vaccines can be used to prevent monkeypox. One shot in particular, called Jynneos, is specifically approved for use. New York City opened a clinic on Thursday to vaccinate people who may have recently been exposed to monkeypox. Doctors can also administer smallpox antivirals.