Monkeypox still a public health emergency: WHO

The global monkeypox outbreak still constitutes a public health emergency, the World Health Organization determined during its third meeting on the matter. 

The agency's emergency committee met Oct. 20 to discuss the state of the monkeypox outbreak, which has infected more than 77,000 people globally, CDC data shows. 

In a Nov. 1 statement on the meeting, the WHO's emergency committee cited ongoing transmission in certain regions, the ongoing risk of stigma and discrimination, potential case underreporting in some developing countries, and a lack of equitable access to vaccines and treatments as the primary reasons for ongoing international concern. 

They also acknowledged progress that has been made to slow the outbreak, such as increased vaccine uptake and behavioral changes. 

"Nonetheless, the picture is mixed," the group said, referring to the range in countries' progress at curbing the outbreak. While the group currently deems the public health risk moderate globally, it's considered high in the Americas. Monkeypox was first deemed a global public health emergency July 23. 

In the U.S., 28,442 cases had been confirmed as of Nov. 1. A recent CDC report found the majority of monkeypox patients in the U.S. who developed illness that required hospitalization had weakened immune systems, often from HIV. 

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