WHO holds emergency meeting as monkeypox hits 12 countries

* With over 90 cases reported

THE World Health Organisation (WHO) has convened an emergency meeting on monkeypox, as the tropical viral disease has been detected in 12 countries that are not endemic for monkeypox virus, with over  90 persons testing positive.

Experts are discussing the unusually high rates in what has become the first global outbreak of its kind, amid growing fears. All cases confirmed by PCR have been identified as being infected with the West African clade.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection common to the tropical areas of West and Central Africa. It is usually mild, with most patients recovering within a few weeks without treatment. Yet, the disease can prove fatal.

However it can kill up to 10 per cent of people it infects. One vaccine, Imvanex, was shown to be around 85 per cent effective in preventing monkeypox infection.

Until now, monkeypox had only ever been detected in four countries outside of Africa – the UK, US, Israel and Singapore. And all of those cases had travel links to Nigeria and Ghana.

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