May 11, 2023 - Health
Mpox no longer a global health emergency, WHO says
Mpox is no longer a global health emergency, World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared at a press briefing Thursday.
Driving the news: There has been a steep decline in mpox — previously known as monkeypox — over the past three months, with countries reporting 90% fewer cases than they had in the previous three-month period, Tedros said.
- "Yesterday, the emergency committee for mpox met and recommended to me that the multi-country outbreak of mpox no longer represents a public health emergency of international concern," he added.
- However, he maintained that mpox can still constitute "significant public health challenges" in countries around the world and urged nations to keep up their testing capacities and efforts to respond to outbreaks.
The big picture: The WHO declared mpox a global emergency last July after it had spread to more than 70 countries.
- Since Jan. 2022, there have been more than 87,000 cases of mpox and 140 deaths across 111 countries, according to WHO data.
- The U.S. declared its own public health emergency for monkeypox in August before ultimately lifting it in December.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Wednesday that there had been a recent uptick in mpox cases in the Chicago area, some of which occurred among people already vaccinated against the virus.