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UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Professors Named to WHO Monkeypox Panel

Dr. Anne Rimoin and Dr. Zunyou Wu to serve on emergency committee

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Two professors at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health have been named to a World Health Organization (WHO) panel as part of the WHO’s response to the current monkeypox outbreak: Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and the Gordon-Levin Endowed Chair in Infectious Diseases and Public Health, and Dr. Zunyou Wu, UCLA Fielding School professor of epidemiology and chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC).

Wu, a graduate of the UCLA Fielding School (PhD, ’95; MPH, ’92), has been recognized by the WHO for his work to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, and Rimoin has studied monkeypox in Central Africa for two decades. “It’s really important that what we understand about monkeypox, in particular, is based on the data that we have from the case series in the ‘80s, and from these kind of small, targeted studies that we have, but they are in a very different context than what we’re seeing today,” Rimoin said. “Monkeypox is something that we know about, and something that we will learn a lot more about, but if we’ve learned anything from Zika, from H1N1, from COVID-19, (it’s that) we do have tools that can be used to be able control this virus and to get in front of it, rather than chasing behind it.”

The WHO is convening an Emergency Committee under Article 48 of the International Health Regulations in relation to the current outbreak of monkeypox virus. The meeting will take place today, June 23, and is open to members and advisors of the Emergency Committee.

The objectives of the meeting are to provide views to the Director-General of WHO on whether the event constitutes a public health emergency of international concern and also on proposed potential temporary recommendations for an international response.

The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, founded in 1961, is dedicated to enhancing the public's health by conducting innovative research, training future leaders and health professionals from diverse backgrounds, translating research into policy and practice, and serving our local communities and the communities of the nation and the world. The school has 761 students from 26 nations engaged in carrying out the vision of building healthy futures in greater Los Angeles, California, the nation and the world.