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Mpox no Longer a Global Health Emergency: WHO

  • 13 May 2023
  • 3 min read

Why in News?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that Mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, no longer constitutes a global health emergency.

  • Additionally, the WHO has recently announced that Covid-19 no longer represents a "global health emergency".

What Led to the Decision?

  • The emergency committee for mpox recommended that the outbreak no longer represents a public health emergency of international concern.
  • The committee's recommendation was based on a decrease in reported cases and a robust response from countries affected by the virus.

What is Mpox?

  • About:
    • Mpox is a viral zoonotic disease with symptoms similar to smallpox, although with less clinical severity.
    • The infection was first discovered in 1958 following two outbreaks of a pox-like disease in colonies of monkeys kept for research — which led to the name ‘monkeypox’.
  • Symptoms:
    • Infected people break out in a rash that looks a lot like chicken pox. But the fever, malaise, and headache from Monkeypox are usually more severe than in chicken pox infection.
    • In the early stage of the disease, Monkeypox can be distinguished from smallpox because the lymph gland gets enlarged.
  • Transmission:
    • Primary infection is through direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or cutaneous or mucosal lesions of an infected animal. Eating inadequately cooked meat of infected animals is also a risk factor.
  • Status:
    • More than 87,000 cases of mpox and 140 deaths have been reported from 111 countries.
    • The past three months have seen almost 90% fewer cases reported compared to the previous three months.
  • Treatment and Vaccine:
    • Mpox is treated with supportive care. Vaccines and therapeutics developed for smallpox and approved for use in some countries can be used for mpox in some circumstances.
  • Ongoing Challenges:
    • Despite the lifting of the global health emergency status, mpox continues to pose significant public health challenges.
      • A robust, proactive, and sustainable response is required to address the lingering impact of mpox and prevent future outbreaks.
      • Ensuring access to tests, vaccines, and treatments for those most in need remains a crucial aspect of the response.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q. Critically examine the role of WHO in providing global health security during the Covid-19 pandemic. (2020)

Source: HT

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