Monkeypox outbreak 2022: Global health emergency declared by WHO due to rapid spread of monkeypox  

Helen Dunmore
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WHO declares the rapidly spreading monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency.

Key Points:

  • Monkeypox has been declared a global health emergency by the WHO.
  • According to the WHO, the outbreak now poses such a significant threat to global health that a coordinated international response is necessary.
  • A global health emergency was last declared by the WHO in January 2020 due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
  • The outbreak is centered in Europe. There is a high risk of HIV infection among men who have sex with men at the moment.
  • It is moderate worldwide, but high in Europe, according to the WHO chief.
  • The WHO chief says monkeypox will not disrupt international trade or travel at the moment.

In response to the growing monkeypox outbreak, the World Health Organization declared it an international public health emergency.

To prevent the outbreak from spreading further and potentially escalating into a pandemic, a coordinated international response is now considered necessary by the WHO, owing to its rare designation.

National governments are not obligated to comply with the declaration, but it serves as a wake-up call. Neither the WHO nor its member states can issue mandates to each other. Events that pose a threat to global health must be reported by member states.

Monkeypox outbreak 2022
Monkeypox outbreak 2022

In response to the monkeypox, the United Nations did not declare a global emergency last month. Nevertheless, infections have increased substantially over the past few weeks, prompting WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to issue the highest level of alert.

Global health emergencies are declared by the WHO’s emergency committee, which weighs the evidence and makes recommendations. Monkeypox was not deemed an emergency by the committee. Due to the rapid spread of the outbreak around the world, Tedros, as WHO chief, issued the highest alert.

“We have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly, through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little,” Tedros said. “For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.” 

According to WHO data, more than 16,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported so far this year across more than 70 countries. Infections are most likely to occur in men who have sex with men.

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What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is an illness caused by the monkeypox virus. It is a viral zoonotic infection, which means it can spread from animals to humans. The disease can also be spread from one person to another.

Monkeypox Symptoms

The largest case series to date indicates that the ongoing global monkeypox outbreak differs in several ways from historical transmission patterns and typical symptoms in African countries where the virus is endemic.

There have been most transmissions associated with sexual activity among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men in this outbreak. Testing, vaccination, and treatment are needed promptly in order to prevent the virus from spreading beyond this narrow group and becoming endemic in more countries if not managed immediately.

Monkeypox outbreak 2022
Monkeypox outbreak 2022

“We have shown that the current international case definitions need to be expanded to add symptoms that are not currently included, such as sores in the mouth, on the anal mucosa, and single ulcers,” said lead study author Professor Chloe Orkin of the Queen Mary University of London.

“Expanding the case definition will help doctors more easily recognize the infection and so prevent people from passing it on.”

Monkeypox transmission

  Monkeypox is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact, exchange of body fluids, or respiratory droplets at close range, not through the air. It is not contagious over long distances. It is also possible for the virus to spread through clothing, bed linens, or surfaces that have been in contact with fluid from lesions, though this is much less common. as of yet, it is unknown whether the virus is transmitted through semen or vaginal fluid.

A favorable environment has existed for the rapid spread of monkeypox in sexual networks of males who have sex with males before the current outbreak.

Monkeypox treatment

  As a result, investigators are seeking other ways to combat the virus. Currently, no specific treatments are approved for monkeypox, but one study in JAMA investigated whether any of the preexisting drugs can treat the disease.

Can people get seriously ill or die from monkeypox?

Monkeypox usually goes away on its own within a few weeks. Nevertheless, infections can cause medical complications and even death in some people. Monkeypox may cause more serious symptoms and even death in newborns, children, and those with underlying immune deficiencies.  


Monkeypox can cause secondary skin infections, pneumonia, confusion, and eye problems. It is estimated that between 1% and 10% of people with monkeypox have died in the past.  Several factors, such as health care access, can affect death rates in different settings. In the past, monkeypox surveillance has generally been limited, so these figures may be overestimated. The outbreak is taking place in newly affected countries, where no deaths have been reported.  

How does monkeypox spread from person to person?

There are several ways monkeypox spreads. People can contract the virus through the following methods:
It is possible to contract an infectious rash, scabs, or other body fluids through direct contact
Physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex, or prolonged, face-to-face contact, can cause respiratory secretions
When you touch items that have been in contact with an infectious rash or body fluid (such as clothing or linens)
The virus can be transmitted through the placenta to the fetus in pregnant women

Who is at risk of catching monkeypox?

Infected people are most at risk if they live with or are in close contact (including sexually) with someone who has monkeypox. It is important for health workers to adhere to infection prevention and control measures when caring for monkeypox patients in order to protect themselves.


In rare cases, monkeypox can cause more serious symptoms and death in newborn infants, young children and people with underlying immune deficiencies.


There may be some protection against monkeypox in people who have been vaccinated against smallpox.

About Post Author

Helen Dunmore

Hey, I'm Helen Dunmore an article writer from London Ontario, Canada. I had done a master's in mass communication and M.Phill in political science and attended many College Journalism Broadcast programs where I wrote and won. I previously had attended Humber College for media studies which included writing for television and news. I have written several publications for many news related websites. Have experience more than 7 years, yeah quite a lot for you. I love writing, an expert in article writing. Currently doing article writing for many blog posts and work as an author for many web sites. Reading is my hobby, love books more than anything in my life.

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