The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
A PHEIC is a formal declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) of “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response”.
The decision was announced on Saturday morning after WHO convened its second emergency committee on the issue on Thursday.
Announcing the decision, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said:
I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.
… For the moment this is an outbreak that’s concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those who have multiple partners, which means that this is an outbreak that can be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups.
According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US is reporting over 2 800 probable or confirmed monkeypox cases in 44 states, including DC and Puerto Rico.
Globally, there are over 16 500 cases reported in 74 countries.