The World Health Organisation said in a statement to the media on 17 June that they have removed the distinction between endemic and non-endemic countries in their monkeypox database so as to unify the response to the monkeypox virus.
Monkeypox was generally confined to the Western countries and Centra Africa, but in recent months, cases have popped up on several continents now.
In their monkeypox outbreak situation update, WHO said: “We are removing the distinction between endemic and non-endemic countries, reporting on countries together where possible, to reflect the unified response that is needed.”
About 2,103 confirmed and probable cases of monkeypox, along with one death, have been reported to the WHO in 42 countries from 1 January this year to last Wednesday (15 June).
An emergency meeting is set to be held by the WHO on 23 June to determine if they are going to classify monkeypox; which is breaking out globally, as a public health emergency of international concern.
A “public health emergency of international concern” is the highest alarm that the WHO can sound.
At the moment, about 84% of the confirmed cases are from Europe, then the Americas, Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean region and the Western Pacific, with the WHO believing that the actual number of cases is likely to be higher.
Image source: World Health Organisation