Monkeypox: WHO has lifted the international emergency after 10 months of alert

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The World Health Organization (WHO) today declared the end of international emergency due to monkeypox or monkeypox epidemicdeclared in July last year due to a disease affecting at least 87,000 people in 111 countries, with 140 dead.

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The decision was announced at a press conference by WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesusa day after the meeting of the emergency committee that quarterly analyzed the situation of the outbreak, whose cases have been reduced by 90 percent in the last three months.

The international emergency for this disease, called mpox by the WHO, rises six days after the United Nations agency did the same in the case of the covid-19 pandemic, again due to the decrease in cases and deaths . Therefore, this high alert level is maintained only in the event of polio.

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“I am pleased to report that mpox is no longer an international emergency, but as with covid-19, that does not mean that it has ceased to be a public health challenge“, highlighted Tedros today, who stressed that “the virus still affects communities in all regions, including Africa”, where the disease is endemic.

The Ethiopian expert added that monkeypox continues to pose a risk to some patients, such as HIV carriers, while the fact that it continues to spread among people traveling abroad “shows that the threat continues”.

For this Tedros has called on national health networks to maintain their ability to trace and diagnose possible cases “to act quickly if necessary”, strengthening their integration into health systems.

At the same press conference, the deputy chairman of the monkeypox emergency committee, Nicola Low, recalled that the first cases of the epidemic occurred a year ago (in the United Kingdom) and that the peak of infections occurred in July and August.

“Since then, the reduction in the number of infections has been impressive, the result of the action of public health networks, international cooperation and affected communities,” he said.

Many of those affected were men who had sex with men, leading WHO to fear that the outbreak would lead to cases of discrimination and homophobia as has occurred with HIV-AIDS in the past, even though Tedros today acknowledged that these problems were finally fewer than expected.

“We feared violent reactions against the most affected communities that have not materialized in general terms and we are grateful for that,” he said.

Only 200 cases have been reported worldwide in the past three weeks, a 34% drop from the previous 21 days.

In the ten months since the epidemic, America was found to be the region that reported the highest number of infections, with over 59,000 cases, followed by Europe (25,000) and Africa (1,500), the latter continent where they have already occurred outbreaks of the disease in the last four decades.

By country, those that confirmed the most cases were the United States (30,154), Brazil (10,940), Spain (7,551), France (4,146), Colombia (4,090), Mexico (4,010) and Peru (3,800).

With information from EFE

Source: Clarin

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