/WHO declares growing monkeypox outbreak a global emergency | USA TODAY

WHO declares growing monkeypox outbreak a global emergency | USA TODAY

The World Health Organization’s director-general said the monkeypox virus can be stopped with the right strategies as he declared it a global emergency.

RELATED: Zoonotic diseases, like monkeypox and COVID-19, are on the rise https://bit.ly/3IYH3ZK

The rare designation may help spur more investment in combatting the once rare disease amid a scramble for scarce vaccines. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the decision despite a lack of consensus among experts on the U.N. health agency’s emergency committee, saying he acted as “a tiebreaker.” It was the first time a U.N. health agency chief has unilaterally made such a decision without an expert recommendation.

There is “a clear risk of further international spread,” Ghebreyesus said in a statement. “So in short, we have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly, through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little,” he said. “… For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.”

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