The World Health Organization declared on Thursday the mpox outbreak is no longer a global health emergency, APA reports citing CNN.
In July 2022, WHO declared mpox, previously known as monkeypox, a public health emergency of international concern – “an extraordinary event” that constitutes a “public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease” and “to potentially require a coordinated international response.”
A PHEIC creates an agreement between countries to abide by WHO’s recommendations for managing the emergency. Each country, in turn, declares its own public health emergency – declarations that carry legal weight. Countries use them to marshal resources and waive rules in order to ease a crisis.
After meeting this week, WHO’s emergency committee for mpox recommended an end to the emergency, and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus agreed with its assessment.
From January 2022 through April 2023, more than 87,000 confirmed cases of mpox, including 140 deaths, were reported to WHO from 111 countries or territories. More than 30,000 cases have been reported in the United States. Globally, cases have been declining for months, especially as awareness has increased and a vaccine became more widely available.
Mpox is a less severe cousin of the now-eradicated smallpox virus. It is endemic to parts of West and Central Africa and has typically been contracted from a rodent or small mammal.