WHO says mpox outbreak, largest in history, no longer a global health emergency


Pharmacist Yukhara Parikh prepares a dose of the Genios monkeypox vaccine at a pop-up vaccination clinic opened by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health at the West Hollywood Library on August 3, 2022 in West Hollywood, California.

Mario Tama | Getty Images

World Health Organization Thursday announced global end health emergency For the outbreak Did mpox Virus.

“Now we see the stable Progress In controlling the outbreak based on the lessons of HIV and working together with those most affected communitysaid WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a press conference in Geneva.

“I am pleased to announce that mpox is no longer a global health emergency,” Tedros said.

New cases of mpox have dropped by 90% in the past three months, he said.

Previously called monkeypox, the WHO changed its name to mpox last year to reduce stigma.

Mpox, a virus related to chicken poxPreviously mostly confined to Africa.

The virus made a rapid worldwide debut last year, resulting in more than 87,000 cases and 140 deaths in 111 countries, according to WHO data. It is the largest known outbreak of the virus in history.

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Bavarian Nordicwhich makes the mpox vaccine, recently warned that the global outbreak was a wake-up call about the need to ramp up vaccine manufacturing capacity to prepare for a potential smallpox threat.

“If it wasn’t mpox, but it was smallpox, then we’re on the completely wrong scale,” Paul Chaplin, CEO of Bavarian Nordic, told CNBC in an interview last month.

The company’s Zynios vaccine protects against mumps and chicken pox.

Mpox is spread primarily through sexual contact, with gay and bisexual men at greater risk of infection.

Although the virus is rarely fatal, people who are infected develop sores in sensitive areas that are very painful and may require hospitalization.

Mpox can be fatal for people with severely weakened immune systems, such as those living with HIV.

Public health officials dealing with the outbreak faced a difficult balance of clearly communicating critical information about how the virus was spreading, while at the same time not causing a backlash against vulnerable communities.

Tedros said on Thursday, “While stigma has been a major concern in the management of this pandemic and remains a barrier to access to care for mpox, the fears against the most affected communities have largely not been meted out.” “For that we are grateful.”

The largest outbreak of mumps occurred in the US, with over 30,000 cases and 42 deaths. In January, the Biden administration ended the public health emergency declared in response to mpox after cases dropped dramatically in the wake of a national vaccination and public health information campaign.

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