According to the World Health Organization, more than 6,000 cases of monkeypox have been recorded from 58 countries in the current epidemic.
The United Nations organization will reconvene the committee that will advise on designating the epidemic a global health emergency, the WHO’s highest level of warning, in the week starting July 18 or sooner, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a virtual press conference from Geneva.
The committee ruled at its last meeting on June 27 that the epidemic, which has seen cases rise both in the African nations where it typically spreads and abroad, was not yet a health emergency.
“I continue to be concerned by the scale and spread of the virus across the world,” Tedros said, adding that a lack of testing meant that many more cases were likely going undetected.
He estimates that 80 percent of instances are in Europe.
Since early May, monkeypox, a typically mild viral virus that produces flu-like symptoms and skin lesions, has been spreading globally.
Previous outbreaks of the type presently spreading in Africa had a death rate of roughly 1%, but this epidemic seems to be less harmful in non-endemic nations.