WHO Chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a press conference, said that more than 1600 confirmed as well as nearly 1500 suspected cases of monkeypox have so far been reported from 39 countries.
New Delhi: Amid sudden spurt in confirmed cases of monkeypox across the world, World Health Organisation (WHO) has called an emergency meeting to assess the disease. The WHO has said that more than 1600 cases of monkeypox have been reported globally and it necessary to assess that whether ‘unusual’ outbreak is an international health emergency.
WHO Chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a press conference, said that more than 1600 confirmed as well as nearly 1500 suspected cases of monkeypox have so far been reported from 39 countries. Out of them, seven countries have past history of monkeypox cases while remaining 32 countries have recently reported monkeypox cases.
Tedros further said that the previously affected countries have reported 72 deaths from the virus in 2022. Newly-affected counties have not reported any death. The WHO is seeking to verify news reports from Brazil of a monkeypox-related death there. He also cautioned the world that monkeypox is clearly ‘unusual’ and ‘concerning’.
The WHO Chief further said that in view of increasing number of cases, he has decided to call the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations next week, to assess whether this outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.
On May 19, the US had confirmed at least one case of the potentially dangerous monkeypox while health authorities in North America and Europe have been detecting dozens of suspected or confirmed cases of monkeypox since early May.
Canada had last reported monkeypox along with more than a dozen suspected cases after Spain and Portugal detected more than 40 possible and verified cases. Monkeypox is common in central and west Africa.
The UK National Health Service had said that monkeypox is a viral infection that usually remains mild with most people recovering from it in a few weeks. However, the spread of the infection has worried the people in the US.
As a part of a proactive and risk-based approach for management of Monkeypox and to ensure advance preparedness across the country, the Government of India had earlier issued ‘Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease’.
As per the guidelines, a confirmed case is laboratory confirmed for monkeypox virus by detection of unique sequences of viral DNA either by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and/or sequencing. All the clinical specimens should be transported to the Apex Laboratory of ICMR-NIV (Pune) routed through the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) network of the respective district or state.