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WHO Officially Declares End to Monkeypox Public Health Emergency

WHO Officially Declares End to Monkeypox Public Health Emergency

A new approach to mpox containment being recommended: Following guidelines similar to those for other sexually transmitted diseases.

The last time we checked on the status of the global monkeypox emergency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was warning that the U.S. could see a renewed surge of “mpox” infections even worse than last year.

Yet the World Health Organization (WHO) is officially declaring an end to the monkeypox public health emergency.

“Yesterday, the emergency committee for mpox met and recommended to me that the multi-country outbreak of mpox no longer represents a public health emergency of international concern. I have accepted that advice and I’m pleased to declare that the mpox is no longer a global health emergency,” Tedros said.

“However, as with Covid-19, that does not mean that the work is over. Mpox continues to pose significant public health challenges that need a robust, proactive and sustainable response.”

The director-general urged countries to maintain their testing capacity and ability to respond to future outbreaks quickly.

From January 2022 through April 2023, more than 87,000 confirmed cases of mpox, including 140 deaths, were reported to WHO from 111 countries or territories. More than 30,000 cases have been reported in the United States. Globally, cases have been declining for months, especially as awareness has increased and a vaccine became more widely available.

Interestingly, part of the reason for the move is that there is new approach being recommended to mpox containment: Following guidelines similar to those for other sexually-transmitted diseases.

Nicola Low, vice chair of WHO’s emergency committee on mpox, said there was a need to move to a strategy for managing the long-term public health risks of mpox than to rely on emergency measures.

The transition would mean including mpox response and preparedness under national disease surveillance programs such as those for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, Low said.

Almost 90% fewer mpox cases were reported in the past three months, compared with cases in the same duration before that, the WHO chief said.

More than 87,000 mpox cases have been confirmed globally from the beginning of 2022 through May 8 this year, according to the WHO’s latest report.

Meanwhile, some scientists are worried about the loss of potential resources to fight the disease.

“My biggest worry is that investments and resources for tackling mpox will dwindle, and efforts triggered by the 2022 outbreak will not be sustained,” says Boghuma Titanji, a physician-scientist in infectious diseases at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. The WHO director-general made the decision after a recommendation by the organization’s mpox emergency committee on 10 May.

“We have many problems we are facing in Africa,” says Dimie Ogoina, an infectious-disease physician at Niger Delta University in Amassoma, Nigeria. Ogoina is a member of the WHO emergency committee, but he didn’t fully agree with its consensus recommendation to end the PHEIC. “The disease will be neglected just the way it has been neglected for a long time before the 2022 outbreak,” he says.

Ogoina and Titanji say that the declaration of mpox as a PHEIC in July 2022 helped to focus the world’s attention on the disease, which had previously been neglected despite being endemic to several countries in Africa.

…“Before the 2022 outbreaks and mpox becoming a disease of global importance, it was a disease that disproportionately affected poor populations in remote parts of west and central Africa,” says Titanji. “I fear that we will see a return to that status quo at least until perhaps the next outbreak that impacts wealthy countries in the West.”

Will the new status for mpox endure the upcoming June Gay Pride activities? Time will tell, but scientists may just find the new ruling will be reversed.


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Well we know how to stop the spread now don’t we

    CommoChief in reply to gonzotx. | May 13, 2023 at 12:48 pm

    And many others transmitted via intimate contact. Choose well vetted partners for long term, monogamous relationships. Do otherwise at your own risk. Lots of incredibly nasty sexually transmitted diseases put in the world.

Sex as in penis in vagina intercourse? Oh, sexual as in popular conventions.

This modern model bears all the hallmarks of misinformation and disinformation brayed during the AIDS transdemic.

henrybowman | May 13, 2023 at 2:49 pm

“the World Health Organization (WHO) is officially declaring an end to the monkeypox public health emergency.”

The WHO’s own “Heaven’s Gate,” with all the traction of a curling stone.

My monkey is greatly relieved to hear the good news.

E Howard Hunt | May 13, 2023 at 3:49 pm

The remedy is simple. Simply ask men who have sex with other men (didn’t there used to be a raft of colorful names for such men?) to not have sex with men or anyone else who has sex with men who have sex with other men.

Odd how fast these things disappear as a problem when the attempted hysteria by the UN and CDC doesn’t catch on, the main group affected is one of the protected class and the antidote is to stop unprotected, promiscuous sex with strangers.

I guess the WHO, UN, CDC, and other conspirators weren’t as successful at generating panic as they’d hoped with this one.