Federal investigators on Wednesday recommended that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revise its emergency use authorization (EUA) policies for tests to ensure better availability and quality during future infectious disease outbreaks.
More than 6,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported from 58 countries in the current outbreak, according to the World Health Organization. The U.N. agency will reconvene a meeting of the committee that will advise on declaring the outbreak a global health emergency, the WHO’s highest level of alert, in the week beginning July 18 or sooner, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference from Geneva.
The World Health Organization says “sustained transmission” of monkeypox worldwide could see the virus begin to move into high-risk groups, such as pregnant women, immunocompromised people and children.
The U.S. government is ramping up efforts to staunch the spread of monkeypox by sending hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses to states in the coming months, expanding access for those most at risk and increasing supply to areas with high case numbers.
Monkeypox is not yet a global health emergency, the World Health Organization (WHO) ruled on Saturday, although WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was deeply concerned about the outbreak.
North Korea reported an outbreak of an unidentified intestinal epidemic in a farming region on Thursday, putting further strain on the isolated country as it battles chronic food shortages and a wave of COVID-19 infections.
The World Health Organization is looking into reports that the monkeypox virus is present in the semen of patients, exploring the possibility that the disease could be sexually transmitted, a WHO official said on Wednesday.
There have been more than 1,000 monkeypox cases reported to the World Health Organization in the current outbreak outside the countries in Africa where it more commonly spreads.
COVID-19 cases in the Americas increased 10.4 percent last week from the previous one, but countries must also pay attention to a rise in other respiratory viruses in the region, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday.
Outbreaks of endemic diseases such as monkeypox and lassa fever are becoming more persistent and frequent, the World Health Organization’s emergencies director, Mike Ryan, warned on Wednesday.