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WHO declares Monkeypox a global health emergency

Yahoo Finance Live anchors report that WHO has declared Monkeypox a global health emergency.

Video transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

BRIAN SOZZI: Welcome back to Yahoo Finance Live. Shares of vaccine antiviral companies rising as monkeypox continues to spread. The WHO declaring over the weekend the spread of monkeypox a global emergency. And we're seeing some really major moves on the Yahoo Finance platform. SIGA Technologies up on this news. They received US approval of a new formulation of smallpox therapy, which is also approved in Europe for monkeypox. But again, all these stocks moving here in the pre-market.

BRAD SMITH: Yeah, and we're looking kind of more globally here, too, to see where there's going to be an actual uptick in the number of candidates that are put forward for a vaccination. And similar to-- and kind of thinking back to, unfortunately, the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic early on, what was the market latching on to? It was latching on to anything that had a candidate tied to it with regard to being able to vaccinate or mass vaccinate the population. But I think overseas is where we're seeing the most kind of uptick at this point in time, at least, in any type of vaccination candidate right now.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah, and the backdrop for this is that monkeypox has been declared a public health emergency of international concern. That's the word that the World Health Organization is using. And what's interesting is there was an expert panel that was trying to figure out if it was going to give it this designation. They were divided. And then the health-- excuse me, the director general of the WHO came in and said, yes, we are going to determine this.

And this is partly the legacy of COVID-19 and that the WHO and other national health agencies came under a lot of criticism for not being decisive enough, dramatic enough, forceful enough, when it came to fighting COVID. So now, faced with another potential global health crisis, one could perhaps argue, are they being too aggressive on this side because of reacting to not being aggressive enough before?

Whatever the case, indeed, with that new designation, that was sort of the trigger for these companies to start moving. I believe there are only about 16,000 cases of monkeypox internationally. But it's the speed with which it has grown after mainly seeing an increase in cases in Africa over the past several decades. Now we are seeing more of a global spread.

And there's also been sort of a clumsy response to it. For example, in New York City, when there were vaccination appointments that opened, there weren't very many of them. They got snapped up like this. There were complaints about the platform through which people could sign up for the vaccination appointments. And then they added a number of new doses. So that's been the sort of a stuttering response, if you will, as well.

BRIAN SOZZI: I'll just add this disclaimer. If you're on the platform, you're checking out these companies, we've seen moves like this before. Now these names are suddenly very hyped. This is the hype phase. Maybe the runs continue, maybe they don't, but I encourage everyone to go out there actually read up on the fundamentals of these companies to see what they're actually doing. Do they have cash flow? Because at some point-- it may not be tomorrow-- it may not be the day after-- these stocks will start to come back down to Earth.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah, I mean, they're small, thinly traded biotech stocks typically, so it doesn't take much to push them around.

BRAD SMITH: Yeah, and check out the WHO website, everybody. I mean, there are some recommendations for how you can get more information around monkeypox as well. I mean, as we're sitting here, covering the markets and the names that are going to move around this, there's so much more education that I think people just need to have regarding transmission of monkeypox, and then just how to plan for and kind of implement this intervention within not just the relationship with healthcare practitioners, but also just so that we have the access to tools and resources. And so--

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah, definitely.

BRAD SMITH: --check that out, so.

JULIE HYMAN: Good PSA. I like that.