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WHO to decide if monkeypox constitutes international health emergency

Health workers screen passengers arriving from abroad for monkeypox symptoms at Anna International Airport terminal in Chennai, India, June 3, 2022. (Arun Sankar/AFP)
Health workers screen passengers arriving from abroad for monkeypox symptoms at Anna International Airport terminal in Chennai, India, June 3, 2022. (Arun Sankar/AFP)

The WHO says it will hold an emergency meeting next week to determine whether to classify the global monkeypox outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern.

“The outbreak of monkeypox is unusual and concerning,” World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tells journalists. “For that reason I have decided to convene the Emergency Committee under the international health regulations next week, to assess whether this outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.”

Tedros says that 1,600 confirmed monkeypox cases and 1,500 suspected cases have been reported to the WHO this year from 39 countries, 32 of which have been recently hit by the virus.

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