WHO declares highest alert over monkeypox
WHO declares highest alert over monkeypox

The monkeypox outbreak has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization.

It came at the end of the second meeting of the WHO’s emergency committee on the virus, BBC reports.

More than 16,000 cases have now been reported from 75 countries, said WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. There had been five deaths so far as a result of the outbreak, he added.

Dr Tedros said the declaration would help speed up the development of vaccines and the implementation of measures to limit the spread of the virus.

The WHO is also issuing recommendations which it hopes will spur countries to take action to stop transmission of the virus and protect those most at risk.

“This is an outbreak that can be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups,” Dr Tedros said.

There are only two other such health emergencies at present – the coronavirus pandemic and the continuing effort to eradicate polio.