WHO declares end to mpox public health emergency

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The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday it was ending a 10-month-long global health emergency for Monkeypox, a viral disease that led to confirmed cases in more than a hundred countries.

The organization declared mpox a public health emergency of international concern in July 2022 and backed its stand in November and February.

The WHO's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, declared the end of the emergency status for the disease based on the recommendation of its emergency committee, which met on Wednesday.

The move signals that the crisis due to mpox, which spreads through direct contact with body fluids and causes flu-like symptoms and pus-filled skin lesions, has come under control.

Almost 90 per cent fewer mpox cases were reported in the past three months, compared with cases in the same duration before that, the WHO chief said.

More than 87,000 mpox cases have been confirmed globally from the beginning of 2022 through May 8 this year, according to the WHO's latest report.

The WHO recently also declared an end of public health emergency status for COVID-19.

"While the emergencies of mpox and COVID-19 are both over, the threat of resurgent waves remains for both. Both viruses continue to circulate and both continue to kill," Tedros said.

The WHO tag is meant to trigger a coordinated international response and unlock funding for collaboration on sharing of vaccines and treatments.

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