Monkey Pox Declared a Public Health Emergency by World Health Organization

On July 23rd, 2022, the World Health Organization(WHO) declared the global monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern(PHEIC), the highest state of alert the WHO can place on a virus. On July 21, 2022, an emergency committee gathered to decide whether to put the monkeypox outbreak on high alert since many countries, which historically have not reported monkeypox, have confirmed thousands of cases. According to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhadom Ghebreyesus, the monkeypox virus meets the criteria for a state of global emergency due to rapid transmission rates, new means of infection, and the general lack of knowledge and research. Along with the PHEIC decision, Ghebreyesus issued an international recommendation for countries to focus on efforts to halt transmission, providing aid to hospitals and clinics, and managing international travel.

In the United States, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) has begun diagnosing the first cases of monkeypox in children. In addition to the diagnosis, the CDC is recommending vaccination for people who have been exposed to or have high risk of being exposed to monkeypox and other prevention methods. In addition, the CDC updated reporting guidelines and treatment plans for hospitals and clinics. Currently, there are 2,981 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the United States and 16,836 cases internationally.