The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday, 14 June, that an emergency conference will be held on 23 June to decide if the global monkeypox outbreak can be classified as a public health emergency of international concern.
"The outbreak of monkeypox is unusual and concerning. For that reason I have decided to convene the emergency committee under the international health regulations next week, to assess whether this outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a media briefing on COVID-19 and other global health issues.
Monkeypox: A Global Concern?
While the monkeypox virus normally causes only a moderate disease and patients recover in a few weeks, it can be fatal in certain cases, particularly in infants under the age of six months and the elderly.
Monkeypox is predominantly found in tropical rainforest areas of central and west Africa, according to the WHO. For years, the disease has been endemic in these areas.
The virus is in the headlines because the disease has spread to other parts of the world in recent times, with many patients having no prior travel history to central or west Africa.
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