WHO extends global health emergency status for mpox — Director-General

The World Health Organization (WHO) thinks that the global outbreak of mpox (previously known as monkeypox) remains a public health emergency of international concern, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing in Geneva on Wednesday, News.az reports citing TASS.

He said that on February 10, the Emergency Committee held a session on mpox. "The committee has advised me that in its view, mpox remains a global health emergency, and I have accepted that advice," the official said.

Ghebreyesus noted "the progress made in reducing mpox transmission globally, and the continued decline in reported cases." That said, according to him, more than 30 countries continue to report new cases. The director-general expressed concern that the disease is under-detected and under-reported "in some regions." The WHO "continues to call on all countries to maintain surveillance for mpox," he concluded.

Mpox is a rare viral disease which is endemic to remote regions near tropical forests of Central and Western Africa. The first case of the animal-to-human transmission of this disease was recorded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970. According to the WHO, this virus is usually transmitted to humans by wild animals, such as rodents and primates, while its secondary spread among humans is limited. Usually the lethality coefficient during mpox outbreaks ranges from 1% to 10% with the majority of fatalities in the younger age groups. There is no specific treatment or vaccine, yet earlier inoculation against smallpox provides an 85%-protection against this disease.

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