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Mpox cases decrease worldwide, says WHO

Geneva, Switzerland, May 11 (Prensa Latina) The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday acknowledged the progress made in the global response to the multi-country mpox outbreak and the further decline in the number of reported cases.

During the 5th Meeting of the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee, experts noted a significant decline in the number of reported mpox cases compared to the previous reporting period and no changes in the severity and clinical manifestation of the disease.

They Committee also acknowledged remaining uncertainties about mpox, concerning modes of transmission in some countries, poor quality of some reported data, and continued lack of effective countermeasures in the African nations, where mpox occurs regularly.

The Committee considered, however, that these are long-term challenges that would be better addressed through sustained efforts in a transition towards a long-term strategy to manage the public health risks posed by mpox, rather than the emergency measures inherent to a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

The Committee emphasized the necessity for long-term partnerships to mobilize the needed financial and technical support for sustaining surveillance, control measures and research for the long-term elimination of human-to-human transmission, as well as mitigation of zoonotic transmissions, where possible.

Integration of mpox prevention, preparedness and response within national surveillance and control programs, including for HIV and other sexually transmissible infections, was reiterated as an important element of this longer-term transition.

In particular, the Committee noted that the gains in control of the multi-country outbreak of mpox have been achieved largely in the absence of outside funding support and that longer-term control and elimination are unlikely unless such support is provided.

These sustained investments will, in the long run, save money and lives, and reduce the risk of a global resurgence of mpox, as well as the risk of reverse zoonosis resulting in new areas where the virus may circulate.

Experts stressed that, although a downward trend worldwide, the virus continues to be transmitted in certain communities, so they urged countries to keep their surveillance and response capacities and continue to integrate mpox prevention and care into existing national health programs to address future outbreaks.


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