The COVID-19 outbreak forced governments around the world to revamp their pandemic response programs, invest in drugs and vaccines and establish viral surveillance systems. Now monkeypox is putting those upgrades to the test — and they’re falling short.
Getting out in front of the global flare-up of the monkeypox virus, which has spread to about 16,000 people in more than 70 countries in just a few months, is an achievable goal, according to infectious disease experts. Yet the lack of urgency and coordination in testing and treatment in many parts of the world has prompted the World Health Organization to sound the alarm.
On Saturday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, or PHEIC. Tedros acted even though a majority of expert advisers suggested such a move wasn’t necessary.