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WHO emergency committee on monkeypox's global spread to meet

Published June 23,2022

The World Health Organization (WHO) will convene a meeting of experts on Thursday to assess whether the spread of monkeypox should be considered a "public health emergency of international concern."

The independent experts will examine whether the world needs to be put on notice about a growing health threat. The results of these deliberations were not expected until Friday.

Designating a global health emergency has no immediate practical consequences beyond making governments and the public more vigilant.

The WHO declared the novel coronavirus a global public health emergency on January 30, 2020.

The UN health body's monkeypox committee is composed of about a dozen scientists.

Although the disease has circulated in Africa for years, it has caused an international stir with its recent outbreak in multiple countries where it has never been seen before.

The disease is spread through physical contact. Medical officials say the outbreak seems to be concentrated among men who have had sexual contact with multiple other men.

Although the disease can be deadly, it is treatable and usually survived, albeit with a phase of bothersome skin outbreaks.