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Emergency nature of monkeypox requires intense response efforts, says WHO

ANI | Updated: Jun 29, 2022 23:18 IST

Geneva [Switzerland], June 29 (ANI): The Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday said that though Monkeypox presently does not amount to a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, the emergency nature of the event requires intense response efforts.
Taking to Twitter, DG Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote, "While the Emergency Committee didn't advise that the #monkeypox outbreak represents a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, they acknowledged the emergency nature of the event requiring intense response efforts."
"They advised that I should reconvene them quickly based on the evolving situation, which I will do," he added.
While expressing concerns over the sustained transmission of the virus the DG said that the children and pregnant women are at a high risk of catching the infection.
"I am concerned about sustained transmission because it would suggest that the virus is establishing itself and it could move into high-risk groups including children, the immunocompromised and pregnant women," WHO tweeted quoting DG Ghebreyesus.
He further said that Nigeria has been battling a monkeypox outbreak since 2017. The country has reported more cases this year, which could mean it matches or exceeds previous peaks.
Monkeypox has now been identified in more than 50 countries, and the trend is likely to continue.

DG said that the countries should adhere to the guidelines published by WHO to assist public health agencies.
"Right now the action WHO would like to see: countries should increase surveillance by boost testing, countries should take a best practice approach to managing the response. WHO has published clinical guidance to assist public health agencies & on the frontlines," WHO tweet read.
Speaking on the R&D front, he said, "WHO has been convening scientists via the R&D blueprint for epidemics to speed up research and development into tests, treatments and vaccines for monkeypox and develop a protocol for therapeutic development and rollout."
Further, speaking of COVID-19,he said that even relatively 'mild' COVID19 cases are disruptive and damaging, thus suggesting the public to strengthen the wall of immunity to lessen the severity of the disease and lower the risk of long- or post-COVID condition.
On the R&D front, he stressed on the need to develop second-generation vaccines that could prevent the spread of the infection.
"Building on existing vaccines that limit severity and prevent death, developing second-generation vaccines that stop - or at least lower infection - would be a major step forward," he said.
"On the R&D front, it is critical that there's funding for second-generation vaccines as well as tests and treatments. While honing vaccines to the evolving virus variants makes sense, I am concerned that the pace of mutation means the world is continuing to play catch up," he added.
He said that the ideal solution to the disease is the development of a pan-coronavirus vaccine that covers all variants so far and potentially future ones.
"WHO continues to convene scientists & researchers; there has been a lot of research into this virus & understanding immunology overall. With WHO's Solidarity Trials we can also offer global trials of vaccines to establish the safety and efficacy of quickly and effectively," he added.(ANI)