WHO: Over 6,000 cases of monkeypox reported, emergency meeting


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More than 6,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported in 58 countries in the current outbreak, the World Health Organization said.

The UN agency will reconvene a meeting of the committee that will advise declaring the outbreak a global health emergency, the WHO’s highest level of alert, in the week beginning July 18 or earlier, it said. Chief Executive Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a virtual press conference from Geneva.

At its previous meeting on June 27, the committee decided that the outbreak, which has seen cases rise both in African countries where it usually spreads and globally, was not yet a health emergency.

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“I continue to be concerned about the scale and spread of the virus across the world,” Tedros said, adding that a lack of testing meant there were likely many more unreported cases.

About 80% of cases are in Europe, he said.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, pictured here at an event on February 18, 2022, told a virtual press conference that the WHO would reconvene a meeting of the committee which advise declaring the outbreak a global health emergency.
(Reuters/Johanna Geron/Pool/File Photo)

Monkeypox, a usually mild viral infection that causes flu-like symptoms and skin lesions, has been spreading around the world since early May.

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The death rate in previous outbreaks in Africa of the strain now spreading was around 1%, but so far this outbreak appears to be less deadly in non-endemic countries.


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