The World Health Network (WHN), a global collaboration of scientific and citizen teams, has released a press statement describing the current monkeypox outbreak as a pandemic.
The WHN announced on Wednesday, June 22, urging country and global public health authorities for “immediate and effective action” to control the outbreak with the least effort.
It said 3,417 confirmed monkeypox cases had been reported across 58 countries, and the outbreak is rapidly spreading across multiple countries.
Yaneer BarYam, World Health Network Cofounder, said, “There is no justification to wait for the monkeypox pandemic to grow further.”
“Even with death rates much lower than smallpox, unless actions are taken to stop the ongoing spread—actions that are practically implemented—millions of people will die, and many more will become blind and disabled.”
He added that there is a need for clear public communication about symptoms, testing, and contact tracing.
“Any delay only makes an effort harder and the consequences more severe,” BarYam warned.
He stated that most of the cases have been confirmed in adults but warned that any spread among children would lead to severe cases and more deaths, which would be more challenging to stop.
“The WHO needs to urgently declare its own Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)—the lessons of not declaring a PHEIC immediately in early January 2020 during COVID-19 should be remembered as a history lesson of what acting late on an epidemic can mean for the world,” said Eric Feigl-Ding, PhD, Epidemiologist and Health Economist, and co-founder of WHN.
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