Jun 23, 2022 - Health

WHO considers declaring monkeypox outbreak a "global emergency"

lood test vials and a syringe.
Blood test vials and a syringe. Photo: Nikos Pekiaridis/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The World Health Organization is meeting Thursday to consider whether to classify the ongoing monkeypox outbreak as a "global emergency."

Driving the news: There have been more than 3,200 confirmed cases of monkeypox and one death in the last six weeks, the WHO said Thursday. The outbreak has touched 48 countries.

  • "Person-to-person transmission is ongoing and is likely underestimated," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday.

The big picture: The WHO's "global emergency" designation would put monkeypox in the same category as the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing efforts to wipe out polio, AP reports.

  • It is unlikely the WHO committee will announce any decisions before Friday, per AP.

What we're watching: The declaration would likely do little to curb the epidemic since most developed countries are already working to slow the spread of monkeypox, per AP.

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