Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022

Monkeypox declared global health emergency; here’s what WHO has recommended

Monkeypox: The WHO label -- a "public health emergency of international concern"-- is the organization's highest level of alert. The announcement is aimed to sound an alarm that a coordinated international response is needed.

WHO, Serum Institute of India, COVAX, COVID-19, Covid Vaccine, World News, Indian Express NewsTedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General WHO.

The rapid spread of monkeypox and its outbreak represents a global health emergency, the World Health Organization said on Saturday. So far this year, there have been more than 16,000 cases of monkeypox in more than 60 countries, and five deaths in Africa.

The viral disease — which spreads via close contact and tends to cause flu-like symptoms and pus-filled skin lesions — has been spreading chiefly in men who have sex with men in the recent outbreak outside Africa, where it is endemic.

What is a global health emergency?

The WHO label — a “public health emergency of international concern”– is the organization’s highest level of alert. The announcement is aimed to sound an alarm that a coordinated international response is needed. This can unlock funding and global efforts to collaborate on sharing vaccines and treatments.

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What did the WHO say?

Announcing his decision to declare the health emergency during a media briefing in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the following:

➡️”WHO’s assessment is that the risk of monkeypox is moderate globally and in all regions, except in the European region where we assess the risk as high.”

➡️”There is a clear risk of further international spread, although the risk of interference with international traffic remains low for the moment.”


➡️ “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 in the International Health Regulations.”

What has WHO recommended?

Tedros announced a set of recommendations for four groups of countries

🔴 First, those that have not yet reported a case of monkeypox, or have not reported a case for more than 21 days.

  • Activate or establish health and multi-sectoral coordination mechanisms to strengthen all aspects of response to the outbreak
  • Plan strategies to avoid the stigmatization and discrimination against any individual or population group that may be affected by monkeypox.
  • Establish and intensify epidemiological disease surveillance, including access to reliable, affordable and accurate diagnostic tests, for illness compatible with monkeypox as part of existing national surveillance systems.
  • Intensify the detection capacity by raising awareness and training health workers.

🔴 Second, those with recently imported cases of monkeypox and that are experiencing human-to-human transmission. This includes recommendations to implement a coordinated response to stop transmission and protect vulnerable groups.

  • Implementing coordinated response: Implement response actions with the goal of stopping human-to-human transmission of monkeypox. Along with this empowering affected communities and provide them support,
  • Engaging and protecting communities with the goal of raising awarness, and protecting vulnerable and at risk individuals.
  • Intensify surveillance and public health measures and report back to WHO on a weekly basis.
  • Isolate cases for the duration of the infectious period. During the isolation period, cases should be advised on how to minimise the risk of onward transmission.
  • Conduct contact tracing among individuals in contact with anyone who may be a suspected, probable, or confirmed case of monkeypox.
  • Establish clinical management and infection prevention and control and the use of PPE along with providing training to health care providers.
  • Make all efforts to use existing or new vaccines against monkeypox.

🔴 The third group of countries is those with transmission of monkeypox from animals to humans.

  • Establish or activate collaborative One Health coordination or other mechanisms for monitoring and managing the risk of of animal-to-human and human-to-animal transmission in natural habitats.
  • Undertake detailed case investigations to characterize transmission patterns.

🔴 And the fourth is countries with manufacturing capacity for vaccines and therapeutics.

  • States/manufacturers should raise production and availability of medical countermeasures.
  • They WHO to ensure diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics, and other necessary supplies are made available based on public health needs

First published on: 23-07-2022 at 09:12:15 pm
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