The World Health Organization declared the growing monkeypox outbreak a “global health emergency.”
The World Health Organization declared the growing monkeypox outbreak affecting more than 70 countries a “global health emergency.”
- The WHO labeled monkeypox a “public health emergency of international concern,” (PHEIC) its highest alert level. The designation is “designed to trigger a coordinated international response” and could free up more funds for international collaboration on treatments and prevention.
- The WHO was divided over this designation, with nine members of the expert committee against declaring a PHEIC and six in favor. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Chief, said he “had to act as tie-breaker” to declare monkeypox a PHEIC, even though there was no tie.
- Symptoms of monkeypox begin with a fever, headaches, and fatigue. Once the fever breaks an itchy and painful rash can develop and lesions can spread over the body, before tending to clear up on its own in 14-21 days. Monkeypox is spread by close physical contact.
- The global monkeypox outbreak is primarily spread by men who have sex with men. Monkeypox has not typically spread as a sexually transmitted infection, but sexual transmission appears to be helping the virus spread as a study found 95% of cases were “likely transmitted through sexual close contact.”
- As of July 22, 2,891 monkeypox cases were confirmed in the United States across 44 states.
- Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the U.S. is “at the cusp” of monkeypox becoming an endemic sexually transmitted infection on Sunday.
- The New York Times wrote the monkeypox outbreak “has galvanized many in the L.G.B.T. community” who fear monkeypox’s spread is not receiving proper attention and have compared its spread to the early days of the A.I.D.S. epidemic that killed thousands of gay men.
- CNN reported monkeypox is “spreading faster than the data.” The disease’s rapid spread is making prevention efforts difficult and the CDC once again appears to be caught flat-footed in the face of a new outbreak.
- BBC News reported the WHO is working to come up with a new name for monkeypox that is “non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing” as some scientists have argued referring to the virus as African is both “inaccurate and discriminatory.” It’s unclear how referring to a disease native to central and west Africa as African is “inaccurate and discriminatory.”
- FOX News noted that while monkeypox outbreaks have occurred in central and west Africa for decades, it did not begin to spread widely beyond Africa until May of this year.
- Breitbart wrote Tedros ignored his agency’s special advisory committee to declare monkeypox a global public health emergency despite admitting the risk of spread was “moderate” and his lack of medical expertise.
- The Wall Street Journal published a primer on monkeypox’s symptoms, how it spreads, and available vaccines. Monkeypox has a 1% fatality rate and smallpox vaccination has been shown to be 85% effective at preventing monkeypox.
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© Dominic Moore, 2022