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The WHO (World Health Organisation) has Declared Global Health Emergency and sounded the highest alarm on the Monkeypox Virus.

  • More than 16,000 cases of the virus – that was once largely confined to Africa – have been reported so far this year 2022.
  • Declaring a global emergency means the monkeypox outbreak is an “extraordinary event” that could spill over into more countries and requires a coordinated global response
  • The virus has spread to “non-endemic countries”. This virus has spread rapidly to many countries that have not seen it before.
  • Three criteria for declaring a public health emergency of international concern have been met as per WHO.
  • The three criteria for such a declaration are that it is an “Extraordinary Event,” that it “Constitutes a Public Health Risk” to other States through the international spread of disease and that it “potentially requires a coordinated international response.”
  • The number – within a month – has grown five-fold.
  • Scientific principles, evidence and other relevant information, are currently insufficient, leaving many unknowns.
  • The risk to human health, international spread, and the potential for interference with international traffic.
  • WHO previously declared emergencies for public health crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2014 West African Ebola outbreak, the Zika virus in Latin America in 2016 and the ongoing effort to eradicate Polio.
  • The emergency declaration mostly serves as a plea to draw more global resources and attention to an outbreak.


  • Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease with symptoms similar to smallpox, although with less clinical severity.
  • The infection was first discovered in 1958 following two outbreaks of a pox-like disease in colonies of monkeys kept for research — which led to the name ‘monkeypox’.
  • Symptoms:
    • Infected people break out in a rash that looks a lot like chicken pox.
    • But the fever, malaise, and headache from Monkeypox are usually more severe than in chicken pox infection.
    • In the early stage of the disease, Monkeypox can be distinguished from smallpox because the lymph gland gets enlarged.