“For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern”, the World Health Organization’s Director, Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, announced on Sunday during a press conference.
Tedros indicated that the current risk of Monkeypox is moderate globally and in all regions, except in the European region where the risk is high.
“There is also a clear risk of further international spread, although the risk of interference with international traffic remains low for the moment”, he added.
Currently, there are more than 16,000 reported cases from 75 countries and territories and five deaths.
The outbreak can be stopped
WHO’s chief said that although he was declaring a public health emergency of international concern, for the moment the Monkeypox outbreak is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners.
“That means that this is an outbreak that can be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups”, he explained.
Tedros said that it is essential that all countries work closely with communities of men who have sex with men, to design and deliver effective information and services, and to adopt measures that protect the health, human rights and dignity of affected communities.
“Stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus”, he warned.