WHO declares monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern


On 23rd July 2022, WHO’s Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern. This comes with recommendations for countries with cases of monkeypox, like Ireland, to strengthen their public health and clinical responses to stop transmission and emphasises the importance of engagement with affected communities.

Although declaring monkeypox as a public health emergency of international concern, Dr Tedros acknowledged that:

“For the moment this is an outbreak that is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners.

That means that this is an outbreak that can be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups.

It’s therefore essential that all countries work closely with communities of men who have sex with men, to design and deliver effective information and services, and to adopt measures that protect the health, human rights and dignity of affected communities.

Stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus.”

Further information on monkeypox infection can be found on the HPSC website: https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/zoonotic/monkeypox/ 

HPSC will continue to closely monitor this situation and provide relevant updates to the public as appropriate.

Further information:
WHO Director-General statement 23/7/22 https://www.who.int/director-general/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-statement-on-the-press-conference-following-IHR-emergency-committee-regarding-the-multi--country-outbreak-of-monkeypox--23-july-2022 

International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) Emergency Committee regarding the multi-country outbreak of monkeypox statement 23/7/22 https://www.who.int/news/item/23-07-2022-second-meeting-of-the-international-health-regulations-(2005)-(ihr)-emergency-committee-regarding-the-multi-country-outbreak-of-monkeypox