Jun 23, 2022 - Health
WHO considers declaring monkeypox outbreak a "global emergency"
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.
- The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Wednesday it would begin shipping monkeypox tests to five commercial laboratory companies to help boost testing for the disease, Axios' Shawna Chen writes.
- New York City began offering vaccination against monkeypox to at-risk groups Thursday, too, per NBC New York.
- The United Kingdom has offered vaccinations to higher-risk groups, per The Guardian.