As monkeypox cases continue to rise around the world, the World Health Organization plans to reassess whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.
In late June, the WHO Emergency Committee determined that the outbreak did not meet the criteria for making such a declaration.
But as the virus continues to spread, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wants the committee to revisit the issue based on the latest data on the epidemiology and evolution of the outbreak.
Tedros said on Wednesday he would convene the committee during the week of July 18 or earlier if necessary.
WHO Defining a public health emergency of international concernOr PHEIC, as “a special event” that “poses a public health risk to other countries through the international spread of the disease” and may “may require a coordinated international response”.
“On monkeypox, I continue to be concerned about the scale and spread of the virus. Globally, there are now more than 6,000 documented cases in 58 countries,” Tedros says.
“Testing remains a challenge and there is likely to be a large number of undetected cases,” he added. “Europe is the epicenter of the current outbreak, recording more than 80% of cases globally. »
Monkeypox is a viral disease mainly found in the central and western regions where the virus is endemic – but in recent outbreaks the virus has spread to many parts of the world where it is not normally seen.
African countries not previously affected by the virus have also reported cases, and where the virus is endemic, record numbers are being recorded, Tedros said on Wednesday. The WHO team is closely monitoring the data, he said.
WHO is working with countries and vaccine manufacturers to coordinate the sharing of monkeypox vaccines that are in short supply. The organization is also working with groups to break down the stigma surrounding the virus and spread information to help protect people.
“I especially want to commend those who shared videos online via social media talking about their symptoms and monkeypox experiences,” He says. “It’s a positive way to break down the stigma of a virus that can affect anyone.»
Early data on the outbreak suggested that gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men accounted for a large proportion of reported cases, raising concerns about the disease and community stigma against LGBTQ people.
However, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has the virus could be at risk.
This Human-to-human transmission of monkeypox virus Rashes, scabs, and sores that may result from direct contact with infectious body fluids or disease. Transmission can also occur through indirect contact, such as through virus-contaminated clothing or bedding.
It can also be spread through respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact or close physical contact such as kissing, hugging, or having sex.
Symptoms of monkeypox It may include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, fatigue, and a rash that may look like pimples or blisters.
The rash goes through different stages, turning into pustules before healing.
according to data The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released Wednesday.
A course of Jynneos consists of two doses four weeks apart.
The Biden administration announced last week that the monkeypox vaccine distribution strategy would focus on areas with the highest case rates and overall risk. According to new data from HHS, the District of Columbia has by far the highest number of reported cases per capita and the highest number of vaccine doses per capita.
Vaccine distribution is also highly concentrated in California, Illinois, and New York, particularly in the three largest U.S. cities: New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Massachusetts, Hawaii and Colorado have also received a significant portion of vaccine distributions so far.
The data shows that 11 states have not had any monkeypox vaccines; none of them have reported cases to the CDC.
The United States is also working to ramp up testing for the virus.
Commercial laboratory company Labcorp will begin monkeypox testing at its largest U.S. facility on Wednesday, doubling the country’s testing capacity for the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This CDC announced Wednesday Labcorp will be able to accept samples from anywhere in the United States for testing, and the company expects to conduct as many as 10,000 tests per week.
caused by the epidemic U.S. has 605 probable or confirmed cases Starting Wednesday night. Cases have been reported in 34 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Three of the cases were non-U.S. residents.
“The ability of commercial laboratories to detect monkeypox is a key pillar of our overall strategy to combat the disease,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday. “Not only will this increase testing capacity, but it will make it easier for providers and patients to use existing provider-laboratory relationships for testing.”
If someone thinks they may have monkeypox, the provider will need to order a test. “The public will not be able to access Labcorp laboratories and submit samples,” the CDC said in a statement.
The CDC’s Laboratory Response Network conducts most monkeypox-specific testing in the United States, but on June 22, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that monkeypox testing would be expanded to five commercial laboratories. : Aegis Science, Labcorp, Mayo Clinic Laboratories, Discovery Diagnostics, and Sonic Healthcare.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Wednesday that it had shipped test kits to labs and that their staff had been trained on how to administer the tests. “The CDC expects that more commercial labs will come online and monkeypox testing capacity will continue to increase throughout July. »