World Health Organization Declares Monkeypox a Global Emergency

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the monkeypox outbreak an “emergency of international concern.”

The big picture

The outbreak has already spread to more than 70 countries with 16,000 reported cases and 5 deaths. The outbreak seems to be shared among gay men.

Deaths have only been reported in East Africa–Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, where a dangerous version of the virus is spreading

The international health organization hopes that the decision to categorize it as a global health emergency will ensure the world takes the outbreak seriously.

Why it matters

Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus said it requires a coordinated international response to collaborate on vaccines and treatments.

Director of the WHO Center on Global Health Law, Lawrence Gostin said there should be widespread testing and deployment of vaccines to “nip this in the bud.”

“The window for containment is rapidly closing and we fear that this could become endemic in Europe, North America and other parts of the world over the next months,” Gostin said.


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