(CTN News) – As the monkeypox outbreak evolves, the World Health Organization’s chief said Saturday that it does not yet constitute a global public health crisis.
As the outbreak, which has mainly affected western Europe, spreads, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus convened a committee of experts on Thursday.
Since early May, monkeypox cases have spiked outside West and Central African countries where the disease is endemic. New cases have mostly been reported in Western Europe.
This year, more than 3,200 confirmed cases and one death have been reported to the WHO from more than 50 countries.
After considering their report, Tedros said the emergency committee shared serious concerns about the scope and speed of the current outbreak, noting there were many unknowns about its spread and gaps in the data.
According to the report, the event at this moment does not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), the highest level of alert WHO can issue, but recognizes that the committee’s convening itself reflects the growing concern about monkeypox spreading internationally.
On June 14, Tedros announced that an emergency committee would be convened to assess the outbreak’s PHEIC status.
The outbreak in newly-affected countries continues to be primarily among men who have sex with men, and who have reported recent sex with new or multiple partners, he told Thursday´s meeting.
Related CTN News: