The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially issued a declaration that states that monkeypox is a global health emergency, which the director of the group states is spreading “rapidly through new modes of transmission” all over the world.
Despite a recent panel from the WHO that did reach a consensus about labeling the sickness a global health emergency, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the leader of the WHO, pushed the organization to declare it a “public health emergency of international concern.”
“We have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little, and which meets the criteria,” explained Tedros to the press.
The disease, which mostly spreads among men who have sex with other men, steps up alongside COVID and polio as the other diseases marked as international emergencies by the global health organization.
While monkeypox has long been prevalent across different parts of Africa, it has been spreading more quickly around the world over the past few months after making its way through raves in Europe. Other than Africa, there are roughly 16,000 cases worldwide, which does include 3,000 found within the U.S. There have, as of yet, not been any known deaths from the disease outside of Africa.
After one WHO panel did not unanimously choose to state that monkeypox needed international efforts to crack down on its spread, Tedro issued the decision to elevate the needed response to the disease and claimed that the process of declaring an emergency must be redesigned.
“This process demonstrates once again that this vital tool needs to be sharpened to make it more effective,” he stated.
This disease, which causes rashes and lesions all over the skin, is spread via close physical contact. It has been known to inflict pain on those who have it when they attempt to use the bathroom.
“We have seen patients with severe rectal pain that worsens every time they go to the bathroom, genital pain every time they urinate and throat pain every time they swallow,” stated Jason Zucker with Columbia University.
Another new study also seems to suggest that monkeypox is also transmitted largely via sexual contact.
“These data point clearly to the fact that infections are so far almost exclusively occurring among men who have sex with men,” stated Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Brown University, while speaking about a recent new study that was published within the New England Journal of Medicine.
“And the clinical presentation of these infections suggest that sexual transmission, not just close physical contact, may be helping spread the virus among this population,” stated Nuzzo.
The Biden administration has placed an order for several hundred thousand doses of the vaccine used to protect against the disease.