More than 15,500 cases of monkeypox have been recorded in 72 countries, according to a recent WHO study. A worrying surge in cases that could push the Director General of the WHO to trigger the level of maximum alert.
The director general of the World Health Organization, Ethiopian Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said he would give a press conference this Saturday July 23 to announce whether the UN organization would trigger the highest level of organization alert.
During a long meeting of the Committee of Experts, this Thursday, July 21, which aimed to guide the Director General of the WHO in his decision and his recommendations, the latter explained that he remained “worried” about the spread of the disease, although the rate of spread has slowed in some places.
Growing concern over surge in cases
It is doctor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who is responsible for possibly declaring the public health emergency of international concern, the highest level of alert of the health agency. A public health emergency that will have the effect of triggering a whole series of actions by member countries. At a first meeting on June 23, the majority of experts recommended that the former not pronounce the public health emergency of international concern (USPPI).
However, some eminent health specialists have expressed some concern in recent days. “Monkey pox is out of control, there is no legal, scientific or health reason not to declare a public health emergency of international concern,” US health law professor Lawrence Gostin tweeted on Friday evening. and director of the WHO Center for Health Law.
Europe is the most affected region in the world
According to the latest WHO figures published on Wednesday July 20, Europe is still the most affected region with nearly three quarters of cases ahead of the two American continents. Spain is the most affected country in the world, with 3,125 cases, ahead of the United Kingdom (2,137), Germany (2,110), the United States (1,965), France (912), the Netherlands Bas (656), Canada (604), Portugal (515), Brazil (384) and Italy (374).
In most cases, the patients are men who have sex with men, relatively young, and living mainly in cities, according to the WHO. A study that was published this Thursday, July 21, in the scientific journal New England Journal of Medicine, the largest carried out on the subject and based on data from 16 different countries, confirmed that 95% of recent cases were transmitted during sexual contact and that 98% of those who were touched were gay or bisexual men.
The health agency said it was working alongside member states and experts to advance research and development around the virus, when vaccines are in short supply. The Danish company Bavarian Nordic, the only laboratory producing an authorized vaccine against monkeypox, announced on Tuesday July 19 that it had received an order for 1.5 million doses, most of which will be delivered in 2023, from a European country whose name has not filtered, while the United States has ordered 2.5 million additional doses.