On Saturday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the global monkeypox outbreak does not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) for the time being.
The decision follows an emergency meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) Emergency Committee on Thursday to discuss the issue.
“While a few Members expressed differing views, the committee resolved by consensus to advise the WHO Director-General that at this stage the outbreak should be determined to not constitute a PHEIC,” a WHO statement disclosed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Over 4,000 monkeypox cases have occurred across 47 countries since the start of May.
And the WHO Committee unanimously acknowledged the emergency nature of the virus.
Therefore, the Committee stressed that controlling the further outbreak spread requires intense response efforts.
It also expressed concern about the potential for increased stigmatisation and infringement of human rights, which would further impede response efforts.
Presentations to the WHO Committee observed that most confirmed monkeypox cases are male.
“Most of these cases occur among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men in urban areas,” the presentations noted.
The first monkeypox symptoms include fever, malaise, headache, sometimes sore throat and cough, and swollen lymph nodes.
Monkeypox cases may resemble chickenpox, herpes, or syphilis.
As a result, the CDC recommends that anyone who develops symptoms associated with those illnesses should get checked for monkeypox.