For the second time in two years, the World Health Organization has taken the extraordinary step of declaring a global emergency. This time, the cause was the deadly disease, which spread in just a few weeks to many countries and infected tens of thousands of people.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director of the WHO on Saturday, canceled the advisory group, which could not reach an agreement, and declared a “public health emergency of international concern,” the name WHO currently uses to describe only two again. disease, Covid-19 and polio.
“We have an outbreak that has spread around the world very quickly through a new communication system, which we understand a little, and which is fulfilling” for a public health emergency, Dr. Tedros told reporters.
The committee’s inability to reach agreement also highlights the need for a better system to decide what constitutes a public health emergency. It is apparently the first time a CEO has fired his advisers to declare a public health emergency.
“This process shows again that this important tool needs to be sharpened to make it more effective,” Dr. Tedros said, referring to WHO research. Member countries are discussing ways to improve the system, he added.
The WHO report indicates a public health threat that requires a coordinated international response. The designation could lead member countries to invest more in controlling the outbreak, get more money in the response, and encourage countries to share vaccines, treatments and other resources needed to contain the outbreak.
It is the seventh public health emergency since 2007; The Covid epidemic, of course, is the latest. Some international health experts have criticized the WHO’s guidelines for declaring such emergencies as opaque and inconsistent.
At a meeting in June, WHO advisers concluded that although monkey pox is a growing threat, it is not yet an international emergency. The group could not reach a decision on Thursday, Dr. Tedros said.
Many experts have sharply criticized this approach as pessimistic and overly cautious.
There are more than 16,000 cases of the deadly disease outside Africa, about five times as many as when advisers met in June. Almost all of these diseases are transmitted between men who have sex.
The WHO statement is “very soon,” said Dr. Boghuma Titanji, an epidemiologist at Emory University in Atlanta, said.
What to Know About Monkeypox Virus
What is a monkey? Monkeypox is endemic in Central and West Africa. It’s like smallpox, but not as bad. It was discovered in 1958, when an outbreak occurred in monkeys that were kept for research, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But with the delay, “one can argue that the global response still suffers from a lack of coordination and countries that work in different ways to solve the problem.”
He added, “It’s almost a capitulation that we can’t stop the virus from establishing itself in a permanent way.”
Dr. James Lawler, head of the University of Nebraska’s global health department, estimated that it will take a year or more to control the outbreak. By then, the virus may have infected hundreds of thousands of people, and it may have completely eradicated itself in some countries.
Dr. “Right now, unfortunately, we’ve missed the boat on being able to contain the outbreak in the first place,” said Lawler. Lawler said. “Now, it will be a real struggle to be able to contain and control the spread.”
The longer the outbreak continues, the greater the chance of the virus moving from infected people to animals, where it can persist and cause new infections in people. This is one way disease can spread locally.
As of Saturday, the United States has recorded nearly 3,000 cases, including two children, but the actual death toll is much higher, as testing is now being ramped up. Britain and Spain each have about the same number of cases, with the rest distributed among 70 countries.
Most of the infected people in these countries report that there is no known source of infection, indicating the invisible community expanded.
WHO advisers said at the end of June that they did not support the emergency declaration in part because the disease has not left the risk groups, men who have sex with men, affecting pregnant women, children and it is the elderly, who are at greater risk of serious illness if they are infected.
In an interview, some experts said they did not agree on the reason.
“Do you want to announce the accident when it’s really bad, or do you want to do it in advance?” said Dr. Isabella Eckerle, a virologist at the University of Geneva.
“We don’t have a problem now. We don’t see the virus in children, we don’t see it in pregnant women,” he added. it will happen at some point.”
A similar WHO committee that met at the beginning of 2020 to investigate the outbreak of the Coronavirus met twice, deciding only at its second meeting, on January 30, that the spread of the virus is a public health emergency.
Committee members suggested at the time and the WHO is considering creating an “intermediate level” for outbreaks of moderate concern. The company may need such a system as the outbreak escalates.
Deforestation, globalization and climate change are creating more opportunities for viruses to spread from animals to people. Now, emerging viruses can quickly cross national borders to become a global threat.
But most public health workers are still only authorized to treat chronic illnesses or small outbreaks.
The devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic and the monkey pox outbreak should be a warning to governments to prepare for new, unannounced infections, said Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“As the world grapples with the pandemic crisis, they are part of a new vision that will require continued attention and resources,” he said. “We need global vaccine and treatment production and stockpiling systems that don’t exist yet.”
There have been occasional fires in some African countries for decades. Experts have been shouting about its potential as a global threat for years now, but their warnings have not been heeded.
Vaccines and drugs are widely available because of the fear of a bioterrorism attack by smallpox, a relative of the virus that kills monkeys.
But getting the drug, called tecovirimat, has been time-consuming and bureaucratic, with government controls delaying treatment by days or even weeks for some patients.
The method of Jynneos, the new and safer of the two vaccines available, has been is intimate – even in the United States, which helped develop vaccines.
As of Friday, New York City had reported 839 cases, almost all of them homosexual men, according to the city’s Department of Health. At the end of June, the city started provides sunscreenbut only about 1,000 doses are available.
The attendance has grown steadily since then to about 20,000 doses. The city issued an additional 17,000 initial notices on Friday evening, but those also quickly filled up.
“Immunity remains low,” Department of Public Health website said on Saturday.
Containing this virus can be more of a challenge in countries with limited or no vaccine and treatment. Without a system of global emergency, each country will need its own way to provide tests, vaccines and treatment, making the inequality between different countries even worse.
Failure to control this response has also wasted the opportunity to collect data in large, multi-national studies, especially where disease surveillance is often flawed.
“Unable to explain the epidemic situation in the region represents a major challenge in the development of interventions for the control of this neglected disease,” Dr. Tedros said about West and Central African countries that a. statement on Thursday.
For example, enweka disease in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the virus is endemic, suggests that a painful rash can develop within a week or two after its spread.
But most patients in the current outbreak have developed lesions only in the genital area. Some – especially those who develop ulcers in the throat, urethra or rectum – have experienced excruciating pain.
“I’m really scared to use the bathroom,” said one recent patient, Gabriel Morales, 27, a part-time model based in New York City. “I can’t describe it. It’s like broken glass.”
Many other patients have experienced only mild symptoms, some have never had the fever, body aches or respiratory symptoms associated with the disease.
It is possible that only severe cases have been identified in endemic areas of Africa, and the current outbreak provides a more accurate description of the disease, Dr. Eckerle said. Or it could be that The virus itself has changed a lotas has the profile of the symptoms it causes.
Depending on first genetic analysis In samples from infected patients, the pox genome appears to have accumulated nearly 50 mutations since 2018, more than the six or seven expected to accumulate in at the time.
It is not clear whether the mutations have changed the mode of transmission, quality or other characteristics of the virus. But early research shows that there may be changes to spread more quickly among people than it did before 2018.
Coordinating the response between different countries will help solve many of the uncertainties around the outbreak, Dr. “There are a lot of open questions,” Eckerle said.
Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Otterman help complain.
WHO has declared that monkey traps are spreading global health emergency
Source link WHO has declared that monkey traps are spreading global health emergency