World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during a press conference on the World Health Organization's 75th anniversary in Geneva, on April 6, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)
GENEVA – The mpox disease no longer represents a global health emergency, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), said at a virtual press conference from Geneva on Thursday, based on a statement by the WHO's emergency committee.
"Yesterday, the emergency committee for mpox met and recommended to me that the multi-country outbreak of mpox no longer represents a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC)," Tedros said. He had declared mpox a PHEIC in July 2022.
According to the WHO, since the mpox outbreak last year, more than 87,000 cases and 140 deaths have been reported from 111 countries
During the past three months, the number of reported new cases dropped by almost 90 percent compared to the previous three months, according to data published by the WHO.
"I am pleased to declare that mpox is no longer a global health emergency," Tedros said.
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He cautioned, however, that "as with COVID-19, that does not mean that the work is over." The virus continues to affect communities in all regions, including in Africa, where transmission is still not well understood, and poses significant public health challenges that need a robust, proactive and sustainable response, he said.
"While the emergencies of mpox and COVID-19 are both over, the threat of resurgent waves remains for both," Tedros said. "Both viruses continue to circulate, and both continue to kill (people)."
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According to the WHO, since the mpox outbreak last year, more than 87,000 cases and 140 deaths have been reported from 111 countries.