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Monkeypox declared pandemic by World Health Network

The outbreak is rapidly expanding across multiple continents and will not stop without concerted global action, it said in a statement.

June 23, 2022 / 10:57 AM IST
A child affected by monkeypox, sits on his father's legs while receiving treatment at the centre of the International medical NGO Doctors Without Borders (Medecins sans frontieres - MSF), in Zomea Kaka, in the Lobaya region, in the Central African Republic. (Image for representation)

A child affected by monkeypox, sits on his father's legs while receiving treatment at the centre of the International medical NGO Doctors Without Borders (Medecins sans frontieres - MSF), in Zomea Kaka, in the Lobaya region, in the Central African Republic. (Image for representation)

The World Health Network (WHN) declared the current monkeypox outbreak a pandemic after 3,417 confirmed cases were reported across 58 countries.  

The outbreak is rapidly expanding across multiple continents and will not stop without concerted global action, it said in a statement.

The report said that even though the death rates are much lower than smallpox, millions of people will die and many more will become blind and disabled unless actions are taken to stop the spread.

The purpose of declaring Monkeypox a pandemic is to achieve a concerted effort across multiple countries or over the world to prevent widespread harm, WHN added.

Yaneer Bar-Yam, president of New England Complex System Institute and co-founder of WHN, said: “There is no justification to wait for the monkeypox pandemic to grow further. The best time to act is now. By taking immediate action, we can control the outbreak with the least effort, and prevent consequences from becoming worse. The actions needed now only require clear public communication about symptoms, widely available testing, and contact tracing with very few quarantines. Any delay only makes the effort harder and the consequences more severe".

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A​​ccording to WHO, Monkeypox typically presents clinically with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications. It is usually a self-limited disease with symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks.

The different routes of monkeypox transmission as supported by evidence are - physical contact (touching an infected individual, especially the rash/postules), contact with contaminated clothing, bedding and objects, breathing airborne particles, and intimate contact/sex.

“WHO needs to urgently declare its own Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)—the lessons of not declaring a PHEIC immediately in early January 2020 should be remembered as a history lesson of what acting late on an epidemic can mean for the world," said Eric Feigl-Ding, epidemiologist and health economist and co-founder of WHN.

 
Bhavya Dua
Tags: #monkeypox
first published: Jun 23, 2022 10:57 am
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