WHO to meet to decide whether to declare monkeypox smallpox as a global health emergency

The World Health Organization will decide on Thursday whether to declare the monkey’s smallpox a global health emergency, sparking criticism from renowned African scientists, who say it has been a crisis in their region for years.

The WHO has been criticized in the past for its slow response to the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.

A “public health emergency of international interest” is the highest level of alert in the WHO. The agency does not declare pandemics, but began using the term to describe COVID-19 in March 2020.

Monkeypox is not nearly as easy to spread as COVID, and there are vaccines and treatments available, unlike coronavirus when it came out. However, it did raise concerns.

The number of cases in the current outbreak outside Africa has exceeded 3,000 in more than 40 countries, according to a Reuters count.

The first case of smallpox in Romania was announced on June 13. Since then, 4 more cases have been confirmed.

The viral disease, which causes flu-like symptoms and skin lesions, is endemic in parts of Africa. The continent has reported just over 1,500 suspicious cases since the beginning of 2022, of which 66 were fatal, according to official data.

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