Geneva: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday declared that mpox, formerly called monkeypox, no longer constitutes a global health emergency, almost a year after the disease started spreading across the world. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he has accepted the emergency committee’s recommendation that the virus outbreak no longer represents a public health emergency of international concern.
“Yesterday, the emergency committee for #mpox met and recommended to me that the outbreak no longer represents a public health emergency of international concern,” Tedros said in a tweet.
“I have accepted that advice, and am pleased to declare that mpox is no longer a global health emergency.”
Mpox is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus which can cause a painful rash, enlarged lymph nodes and fever, according to the WHO.
Tedros noted that more than 87,000 cases of mpox related and 140 deaths have so far been reported to the UN health agency from 111 countries, with almost 90% fewer cases reported in the past three months than the previous three months.
“WHO has been very encouraged by the rapid response of countries. We now see steady progress in controlling the outbreak based on the lessons of HIV and working closely with the most affected communities,” he said.
“In particular, the work of community organizations, together with public health authorities, has been critical for informing people of the risks of mpox, encouraging and supporting behaviour change, and advocating for access to tests, vaccines and treatments to be accessible to those most in need,” the top WHO official added.
He, however, stressed mpox continues to pose significant public health challenges that need a robust, proactive and sustainable response.