Monkeypox was deemed a worldwide health emergency on Saturday by the chief of the World Health Organization.

a strange action that comes as countries struggle with an increase in the number of cases of a once-isolated virus.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the UN agency for health, issued the declaration following the expert committee of the WHO.

The declaration of a "global emergency" amid a race for rare vaccines may encourage increased funding for the disease's eradication.

The organization's highest alert level, global emergency, does not always indicate that a disease is highly contagious or fatal.

Similar statements were made regarding the current campaign to eradicate polio and the Zika virus in Latin America in 2016.

Despite the lack of agreement among specialists, Ghebreyesus made the choice, referring to himself as "a tiebreaker."

It was the first time the head of a U.N. health organisation had taken such a stand without expert input.