WHO to Hold Emergency Meeting on Monkeypox

The World Health Organization (WHO) will hold an emergency meeting in Geneva, Switzerland today to discuss the global monkeypox outbreak.

WHO to Hold Emergency Meeting on Monkeypox

WHO to Hold Emergency Meeting on Monkeypox | Photo: Quartz

The World Health Organization (WHO) will hold an emergency meeting in Geneva, Switzerland today to discuss the global monkeypox outbreak.

The meeting will determine whether the UN health agency classifies the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern—the highest alarm the WHO could sound for a potential global pandemic. Currently, 84% of cases have been contracted in Europe, followed by the Americas, Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Western Pacific.

On May 31st, the WHO released a statement indicating that it was not concerned that the monkeypox outbreak could become a global pandemic. The virus has since spread to several continents, resulting in 2,103 total confirmed cases and one death since January 2022. Despite heightened concern, it is unlikely that the WHO will elevate the outbreak to pandemic status, as the virus has not demonstrated high rates of lethality.

In the long term, it is possible that the WHO will encourage serious precautionary measures regarding monkeypox. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, global health organizations have taken a “never again” approach, establishing a global health architecture to jointly respond to pandemics. Although global restrictions are unlikely, countries may be encouraged to implement strict quarantine measures for infected citizens to avoid national shutdowns.

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