No longer a global emergency: WHO revises monkeypox decision

The World Health Organization said Thursday, May 11, that the global outbreak of monkeypox is no longer an international emergency. The world has seen a sharp decline in the number of cases in recent months.

As you know, last July, WHO Director-General Tedros Adanom Gebreyesus declared smallpox an "emergency." It qualified as a global crisis. Gebreyesus reversed the decision of the WHO expert committee, which did not recommend introducing a state of emergency. But now that cases have fallen by about 90 percent in the past three months, the expert committee has concluded that smallpox is no longer a major concern, the AP reports.

"We are now seeing steady progress in controlling the outbreak based on lessons from HIV and working closely with the most affected communities. I am pleased to announce that smallpox is no longer a global public health emergency. Fears of a negative reaction in the communities most affected by the outbreak have, for the most part, not materialized," said the CEO.

Note, smallpox has been reported in parts of central and western Africa for decades. At that time, the disease was not known to cause large outbreaks outside the continent or to spread easily to Europe, North America, and other countries.

Smallpox most commonly causes symptoms such as rash, fever, headache, muscle pain, and enlarged lymph nodes. Skin lesions can last up to a month. The disease spreads through close physical contact with the infected patient, his clothing, or other items.

As a result, European health authorities have stated that 98% of smallpox patients are men, of whom 96% are men who have sex with men.

Smallpox vaccines were quickly introduced in wealthy countries. Since then, the number of cases in Europe and North America has slowed. Today, the WHO reports that there are more than 87,000 cases and 140 deaths worldwide. And in the last week, the number of cases has increased by 64%.

As reported by OBOZREVATEL, the WHO previously renamed monkeypox, the outbreak of which occurred in Europe in 2022. The disease became known as mpox.

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