The world is facing “formidable” challenges, including Covid, the war in Ukraine, and monkeypox, the head of the World Health Organization has warned.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was speaking in Geneva, where the UN health agency’s experts were discussing the monkeypox outbreak in 15 nations outside Africa. More than 80 cases have been confirmed in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, and Israel. However, the risk to the wider public is said to be low.
Monkeypox – the virus that is most common in remote parts of Central and West Africa – does not tend to spread easily between people and the illness is usually mild. Most people who catch the virus recover within a few weeks, according to the UK’s National Health Service.
The outbreak has taken scientists by surprise, and UK health officials have issued new advice, saying high-risk contacts of cases should self-isolate for three weeks. Belgium became the first country to announce a three-week quarantine for infected persons on Friday. More confirmed cases are expected to be announced in the UK on Monday, the Guardian newspaper reports.
Speaking at Sunday’s opening of his agency’s World Health Assembly, Dr. Tedros said: “Of course, the [Covid] pandemic is not the only crisis in our world. “As we speak our colleagues around the world are responding to outbreaks of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo,
monkeypox and hepatitis of unknown cause, and complex humanitarian crises in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, and Yemen. “We face a formidable convergence of disease, drought, famine, and war, fuelled by climate change, inequity, and geopolitical rivalry,” the WHO head added. FULL REPORT