WHO declares monkeypox an international health emergency

WHO declares monkeypox an international health emergency

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared monkeypox as an international health emergency. Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that primarily affects animals, but it can also be transmitted to humans. The declaration comes in response to an increase in monkeypox cases reported in several countries.

Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same family as smallpox. While monkeypox is less severe than smallpox, it can still cause serious illness in humans. The virus is primarily transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals, such as rodents or monkeys, or through direct contact with bodily fluids or skin lesions of infected individuals.

The symptoms of monkeypox in humans include fever, headache, muscle aches, and a rash that progresses to fluid-filled blisters. Most cases are mild and self-limiting, with recovery taking about 2-4 weeks. However, severe cases can occur, especially in individuals with weakened immune systems.

The declaration of monkeypox as an international health emergency will enable WHO to coordinate global efforts to prevent and control the spread of the disease. This includes providing technical support to affected countries, conducting surveillance, and promoting public awareness and education.

Prevention and control measures for monkeypox include practicing good hygiene, avoiding contact with wild animals, and implementing strict infection control measures in healthcare settings. Vaccination against smallpox, although not specifically designed for monkeypox, may provide some cross-protection.

While the risk of monkeypox spreading globally is currently low, the WHO’s declaration emphasizes the need for heightened vigilance and preparedness. By working together, countries can effectively respond to and contain the spread of this viral disease.

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