The World Health Organization declares monkeypox a global health emergency.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has labeled the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency, the highest level of alert the health body can issue.
The WHO action follows an increase in monkeypox cases around the world.
The designation now indicates that WHO considers the outbreak to be a threat to world health and that a coordinated international response is needed to contain the virus before it becomes a pandemic.
The WHO emergency committee meets before issuing the notice to examine the facts and make suggestions to the director general. However, the committee could not agree on whether the viral sickness was an emergency.
Tedros Ghebreyesus, the agency's chief, made the decision to issue the notice due to the quickly spreading outbreak.
"We have an outbreak that has moved swiftly over the world, using new means of transmission about which we know much too little," Dr. Tedros added.
"I have determined that the global monkeypox outbreak is a public health emergency of international concern for all of these reasons."
According to WHO data, there have been over 16, 000 monkeypox cases reported worldwide, with males who sleep with men currently being at the highest risk of infection.
There have been five documented deaths in Africa, with no deaths recorded outside of the continent.
While Europe is currently the worldwide epicenter of the outbreak, accounting for more than 80% of all confirmed cases this year, the disease was first detected in West and Central Africa in the 1950s, where rats and other animals carried the virus.
The monkeypox virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, causes a rash that appears like pimples or blisters and spreads throughout the body.
There are only two other comparable health catastrophes at the moment: the coronavirus pandemic and the fight against polio.