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WHO considers declaring monkeypox ’emergency’

The World Health Organization will decide whether to declare monkeypox a global health emergency on Thursday, prompting criticism from top African scientists who say the disease has been a crisis in their region for years.


Concerns about how the United Nations agency and governments around the world handled COVID-19 in early 2020 prompted deliberations and scrutiny of the WHO’s response to the outbreak.


WHO’s highest level of alert is a ‘public health emergency of international concern.’ The agency does not declare pandemics, but in March 2020, it began using the term to describe COVID-19.


For many governments, that, rather than the earlier declaration of an emergency in January, was the point at which they began to take real action to try to contain the disease, which proved too late.


Monkeypox is not as easily transmitted as COVID, and there are vaccines and treatments available, unlike when the coronavirus first appeared. However, it has caused concern.


According to Reuters, the case count from the current outbreak outside of Africa has surpassed 3,000 in more than 40 countries, primarily among men who have sex with men, since it was first reported in May.


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