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White House says WHO declaration on monkeypox is ‘a call to action’ to stop its spread

The White House Pandemic Office coordinator released a statement calling the World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration of the monkeypox virus as an international public health emergency “a call to action” to stop the spread of the disease.

“Today’s decision by the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the current monkeypox outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern is a call to action for the world community to stop the spread of this virus. A coordinated, international response is essential to stop the spread of monkeypox, protect communities at greatest risk of contracting the disease, and combat the current outbreak,” Raj Panjabi said in a statement on Saturday. 

Panjabi’s statement came hours after WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced he made the decision to consider monkeypox a public health emergency, weighing five factors in making the declaration.

More than 16,000 cases have been reported in 75 countries and territories.

“WHO’s assessment is that the risk of monkeypox is moderate globally and in all regions, except in the European region where we assess the risk as high,” Tedros said during a news conference on Saturday.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of Friday, there are close to 2,900 cases of monkeypox that have been reported in the U.S. The states with the highest case counts are in New York, California, Florida, Illinois and Georgia.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced earlier this month another 144,000 doses of the Jynneos vaccine would be distributed in addition to the more than 41,000 doses given out already to combat the virus, which is generally spread through contact directly with body fluids, rashes and scabs and prolonged face-to-face contact.

Source: The Hill

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