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WHO set to decide if monkeypox an international health emergency

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Monkeypox spreads through close contact Monkeypox is endemic in parts of Africa but there have been more cases both in those countries and the rest of the world in recent months.

The virus causes flu-like symptoms and skin lesions, and spreads through close contact. It is thought to be fatal in around 3-6% of cases, according to WHO, although no deaths have yet been reported in the outbreak outside Africa.

The majority of deaths this year have been in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The WHO chief said that it was time to consider stepping up the response because the virus is behaving unusually, more countries are affected, and there is a need for international co-ordination. "We don't want to wait until the situation is out of control," said WHO's emergencies director for Africa, Ibrahima Socé Fall.

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