World Health Organization Declares Monkeypox Outbreak A Global Health Emergency

The World Health Organization (WHO) has activated its highest alert for the growing monkeypox outbreak, declaring the virus a public health emergency of international concern.

world health organization declares monkeypox outbreak a global health emergencyPhoto via

According to CNBC, the rare designation means WHO now views the outbreak as a significant enough threat to global health. A coordinated international response is needed to prevent the virus from spreading further and potentially escalating into a pandemic. 

However, the declaration does not impose requirements on national governments, it serves as an urgent call for action. The WHO can only issue guidance and recommendations to its member states, not mandates. 

The member states are required to report events that pose threat to global health. 

The UN agency declined last month to declare a global emergency in response to monkeypox but infections have increased substantially over the past several weeks, pushing WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to issue the highest alert. 

world health organization declares monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency

More than 16,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported across more than 70 countries so far this year, and the number of confirmed infections rose to 77% from late June through early July, according to WHO.

The WHO chief said the global risk is moderate, but the threat is high in Europe. Five deaths from the virus have been reported in Africa this year.

By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat