The World Health Organization says monkeypox is not yet a global emergency, according to the Washington Post.
According to the global health agency, there have been about 3,000 cases of the disease, most of which have been reported in Europe, outside of the virus's endemic area. At a meeting Saturday, the WHO's International Health Regulations Emergency Committee determined that the outbreak does not yet rise to the level of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The Post notes that the COVID-19 pandemic was determined to be PHEIC in January 2020.
In a statement, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says that he and the committee are concerned about the spread of monkeypox. Stopping it, he adds, "requires our collective attention and coordinated action."
He and the committee further note that monkeypox has been circulating in Africa for years, where it has been overlooked, and they suggest that there has been a discrepancy in how outbreaks in Africa versus Europe are viewed. They add, the Post notes, that that difference must change for many infectious diseases.
The WHO committee may reconvene to reconsider its decision as the outbreak evolves.