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WHO emergency committee on monkeypox’s global spread to meet

The World Health Organization (WHO) will convene a meeting of experts on Thursday to assess whether the spread of monkeypox should be considered a "public health emergency of international concern."

Geneva, 23 June 2022 (dpa/MIA) — The World Health Organization (WHO) will convene a meeting of experts on Thursday to assess whether the spread of monkeypox should be considered a “public health emergency of international concern.”

The independent experts will examine whether the world needs to be put on notice about a growing health threat. The results of these deliberations were not expected until Friday.

Designating a global health emergency has no immediate practical consequences beyond making governments and the public more vigilant.

The WHO declared the novel coronavirus a global public health emergency on Jan. 30, 2020.

The UN health body’s monkeypox committee is composed of about a dozen scientists.

Although the disease has circulated in Africa for years, it has caused an international stir with its recent outbreak in multiple countries where it has never been seen before.

The disease is spread through physical contact or via aerosols suspended in the air.

Although monkeypox can be deadly, it is treatable and usually survived. Symptoms include skin lesions, fever, headache, body aches, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes.

According to the WHO, “caring for patients with suspected or confirmed monkeypox requires early recognition through screening adapted to local settings, prompt isolation and rapid implementation of appropriate infection control and prevention measures (standard and transmission-based precautions, including the addition of respirator use for health workers caring for patients with suspected/confirmed monkeypox, and an emphasis on safe handling of linen and management of the environment), physical examination of patient, testing to confirm diagnosis, symptomatic management of patients with mild or uncomplicated monkeypox and monitoring for and treatment of complications and life-threatening conditions such as progression of skin lesions, secondary bacterial infection of skin lesions, ocular lesions, and rarely, severe dehydration, severe pneumonia or sepsis.”

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