WHO to Decide if Monkeypox Constitutes Public Health Emergency 

June 22, 2022 by Alexa Hornbeck
WHO to Decide if Monkeypox Constitutes Public Health Emergency 
Screenshot of individual with monkeypox infection courtesy of video from 13News Now.

Experts from the World Health Organization will convene for an emergency committee on June 23 to assess whether monkeypox constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.

Cases of Monkeypox are hitting the hardest in Europe where the outbreak has escalated to 25 countries, with more than 1,500 cases reported, 85% of the global total.

According to a release from the WHO, the longer the virus circulates the more it extends its reach, and the stronger the disease’s foothold will get in non-endemic countries such as the United States. 

The WHO emergency committee will discuss the need for enhanced surveillance, contact tracing and infection prevention for monkeypox, after already seeing significant gaps in the ability to respond.


The top priority for the WHO will be the release of emergency funds to establish virus identification and sequencing in countries that have not yet received the tests and supplies needed to detect the virus in the lab. 


Clinicians also need to be educated in how to manage suspected cases, and how to advise the public on what to do in the event of infection. 

A majority of the cases in Europe have been among men who have sex with men, according to a WHO release

The WHO will reach out to health partners and event coordinators to spread more public awareness and consider the role of mass vaccination, which is not yet recommended.


“We are already seeing a rush in some quarters to acquire and stockpile these,” write members from the WHO in the release.

Alexa can be reached at [email protected]

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