Renowned epidemiologist, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, has sought to explain the reasons behind the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring monkeypox a global health emergency, saying an internationally coordinated response is necessary.

Over 16 000 cases have been reported in 75 countries and there have been five monkeypox-related deaths – all of which were in Africa. Three infections have been reported in South Africa so far.

Karim has reminded the public not to panic.

“Those who have indicated they have it, we don’t need to be that concerned, but on the flip side there are over 70 countries that have never had monkeypox before where monkeypox is being reported and there is local spread. That is deeply concerning. So, even though there are only five deaths reported, it is not a disease that we need to be panicked about but it is a disease that needs some kind of internationally coordinated response,” says Karim.

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