< p class="sc-v64krj-0 knjbxw">More than 15,800 cases of monkeypox have been identified so far in a total of 72 countries.
Faced with the outbreak of monkeypox, the Director General of the Organization World Health Organization (WHO) is due to announce on Saturday whether it has chosen to trigger – or not – the organization's highest level of alert.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will give a virtual press conference on Saturday, according to a press release from the UN organization issued Friday evening.
Other guests at this briefing will be announced at a later date, according to the release.
The release does not specify the nature of the announcement of the Dr. Tedros as monkeypox now strikes more than 15,800 people in 72 countries, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) dashboard as of July 20.
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It is the boss of the WHO who is responsible for possibly declaring a public health emergency of international concern, the highest level of alert of the x27;health agency, based on recommendations from the Emergency Committee.
This level signifies that there is effective and sustained transmission of the virus between humans, and that this same virus has caused community-wide outbreaks in at least one other country outside of the original health region.
For now, only the COVID-19 and polio viruses are considered to warrant this higher level of alert, also known as an international public health emergency.
The Emergency Committee met Thursday in Geneva and by videoconference for seven hours.
The Emergency Committee assessed the epidemiological indicators to determine the best ways to control a health situation that has worsened in recent weeks.
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In an initial meeting on June 23, the majority of experts recommended that Dr. Tedros not pronounce the public health emergency at hand international.
Detected in early May, the unusual upsurge in monkeypox cases outside central and west African countries, where the virus is endemic, has since spread around the world with as epicenter of Europe.
First detected in humans in 1970, monkeypox is less dangerous and less contagious than its cousin smallpox, eradicated in 1980.
In most cases, the patients are men who have sex with men, who are relatively young and live mainly in towns, according to the report. WHO.
A study published Thursday in the scientific journal New England Journal of Medicine, the largest on the subject and based on data from 16 countries different, confirms that the vast majority – 95% – of recent cases were transmitted through sexual contact and that 98% of those affected were male gay or bisexual.