By Natalie Grover, John Revill and Jennifer Rigby | 23 July 2022
- Declaration is WHO’s highest level of alert
- Tedros breaks deadlock on advisory committee
- Decision welcomed as way to stem disease’s spread
REUTERS — The rapidly spreading monkeypox outbreak represents a global health emergency, the World Health Organization’s highest level of alert, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Saturday.
The WHO label – a “public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC)” – is designed to trigger a coordinated international response and could unlock funding to collaborate on sharing vaccines and treatments.
Members of an expert committee that met on Thursday to discuss the potential recommendation were split on the decision, with nine members against and six in favour of the declaration, prompting Tedros himself to break the deadlock, he told reporters.
“Although I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern, for the moment this is an outbreak that is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners,” Tedros told a media briefing in Geneva. […]