The outbreak quickly spread to at least 75 countries with more than 16,000 cases reported, primarily among men who have sex with men.
The latest WHO announcement came after the second meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee (EC), which was unable to reach a consensus about the severity of the outbreak. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director general, overruled the committee by declaring monkeypox a “public health emergency of international concern.”
The WHO declaration means the risk of the disease spread requires a coordinated international response.
In a statement, Dr. Tedros said although the risk remains low for the time being, monkeypox presents “a clear risk of further international spread.”