WHO will assess whether variole of monkey represents an “international public health emergency”

Until now, more than 1,600 confirmed cases have been reported to WHO in 39 countries, 32 of which is not endemic, said the director general.

Le Monde with AFP

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Tuesday, June 14, that it convened a meeting of its emergency committee on June 23 to assess whether the variole of the monkey represents a “public health emergency of international scope “.

The current flambé of cases is “unusual and worrying,” said his director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at a press conference. “We believe that the situation requires a coordinated response due to” the propagation of the disease in the world, he also said. International experts “will help us better understand the virus”, according to him.

Until now, more than 1,600 confirmed cases have been reported to WHO in 39 countries, 32 of which is not endemic, said the director general. According to the WHO, no death has been reported in these countries, unlike endemic countries, among which are Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

WHO is currently thinking about “changing the name of the monkey’s smallpox virus. “We will make announcements on the new names as soon as possible,” promised Doctor Tedros on Tuesday. “The WHO’s objective is to help countries contain transmission and stop the epidemic through proven public health tools, in particular monitoring, search for contacts and isolation of infected patients”, recalled the director general of the organization.

100,000 doses of vaccines ordered for the EU

WHO published provisional guidelines on the use of antivariole vaccines for the variolate of the monkey on Tuesday. She does not recommend “mass” vaccination at this stage. “Any decision to use or not to use vaccines must be made (…) on the basis of an assessment of risks and advantages, on a case -by -case basis,” says the organization.

“It is essential that the vaccines are available fairly where they are necessary,” said its director general, specifying that the WHO worked with its member states and partners to develop a fair access mechanism to Vaccines and treatments.

For its part the European Commission announced Tuesday the conclusion of a contract on the purchase of more than 100,000 doses of vaccines against the variolate of the monkey. The agreement relates to the supply of 109,090 doses of vaccines on behalf of European countries, the commission said in a press release. It is inspired by group purchases of anti-Cavid vaccines but relates to much lower quantities.

Marketed under the name of Imvansne in Europe, Jynneos in the United States and Imvamune in Canada, it is a vaccine of 3 e generation (non-replicative vaccine , that is to say not replying in the human organism) authorized in Europe since 2013 and indicated against smallpox in adults. The European drug regulator announced in early June that it has started discussions with Bavarian Nordic, the laboratory that has the vaccine, to possibly extend its use against the variolate of the monkey.

/Media reports.