According to the head of the Globe Health Organization, the world is confronting “formidable” threats such as COVID, the war in Ukraine, and monkeypox.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was speaking in Geneva, where UN experts were debating the monkeypox pandemic that had spread to 15 countries outside of Africa.
In Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, and Israel, more than 80 cases have been confirmed.
The risk to the general population, however, is thought to be minor.
Monkeypox, which is most frequent in rural parts of Central and West Africa, is a virus that does not travel easily between humans and causes a minor sickness.
According to the National Health Service of the United Kingdom, most people who contract the virus recover within a few weeks.
Scientists have been caught off guard by the outbreak, and UK health officials have issued fresh guidance, advising high-risk contacts of cases to self-isolate for three weeks. On Friday, Belgium became the first country to declare a three-week quarantine for sick people.
The WHO previously stated that several other probable monkeypox cases are being investigated but did not name the countries involved and that more infections are likely to be confirmed.
Following the outbreak’s discovery in the United Kingdom, the virus spread across Europe, with cases confirmed by public health organisations in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy, and Sweden.
On Sunday, more cases were verified in Austria and Switzerland.
Because the two viruses are so similar, many countries have smallpox vaccines on standby, which are about 85 per cent effective in preventing infection.
Why this unexpected outbreak is happening now is yet unknown.
Although there is now little confirmation that this is a unique strain, one idea is that the virus has evolved. Another theory is that the virus arrived at the proper time and place to thrive. Monkeypox could spread faster than it did in the past when the smallpox vaccine was widely utilised.