WHO announces highest alert for monkeypox.
The outbreak of monkeypox has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization.
The classification is the highest alert the WHO can issue and follows a surge in cases worldwide.
It came at the end of the second meeting of WHO’s emergency committee on the virus.
More than 16,000 cases have now been reported from 75 countries, said WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. There were five deaths so far as a result of the blast, he added.
There are currently only two other such health emergencies – the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing effort to eradicate polio.
Dr Tedros said the emergency committee was unable to reach a consensus on whether the monkeypox outbreak should be classified as a global health emergency.
However, he said the outbreak had spread rapidly around the world and he had decided it was indeed an international concern.
“The WHO assessment is that the monkeypox risk is moderate globally and in all regions, with the exception of the European region, where we assess the risk as high,” he added.