(breitbart) – Soaring monkeypox case numbers have been cited by the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) as the reason it will reconvene its expert committee to decide whether the outbreak constitutes a global health emergency.
The move comes on the back of an official in New York City reporting a spike in monkeypox cases where incidents more than doubled in the past week. The official states the outbreak in the nation’s largest city accounts for 30 percent of all U.S. cases, as Breitbart News reported.
The U.N. subsidiary health agency is now aware of 9,200 cases in 63 countries at the last update issued Tuesday.
AFP reports monkeypox infections have been slowly building since early May outside the West and Central African countries where the disease has long been endemic.
But a majority advised the W.HO.’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that the situation, at that point, had not met that threshold.
Now a second meeting will be held on Thursday.
“The emergency committee will provide its views to the W.H.O. director general on whether the event constitutes a PHEIC,” the agency said in a statement.
“If so, it will propose temporary recommendations on how to better prevent and reduce the spread of the disease and manage the global public health response.”
A statement will be issued in the days following the meeting.
Among the cases who reported at least one symptom, 81 percent presented with a widespread rash on the body, 50 percent presented with fever and 41 percent presented with genital rash.
The W.H.O.’s 16-member emergency committee on monkeypox is chaired by Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who is a former director of the W.H.O.’s Vaccines and Immunisation Department.
Most monkeypox infections so far have been observed in – but by no means limited to – men who have sex with men, of young age and chiefly in urban areas, according to the W.H.O.
Appearing Sunday on CBS’ Face The Nation, former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the window to control the virus has likely closed.
“I think they’re going to be reluctant to use the word pandemic, because it implies that they’ve failed to contain this, and I think at this point we’ve failed to contain this,” Gottlieb said.
“We’re probably detecting just a fraction of the actual cases,” he added. “I think the window for getting control of this and containing it probably has closed, and if it hasn’t closed, it’s certainly starting to close.”