Monkeypox no longer a global health emergency: World Health Organization

Tags: International News

Monkeypox no longer a global health emergency: World Health Organization

The World Health Organization declared the end of a global health emergency on 11 May for the rare but potentially serious disease mpox, formerly known as monkeypox.

An overview of the news

  • According to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, countries have reported about 90% fewer cases in the past three months.

  • The emergency declaration was issued in July 2022 amid a major global surge in cases.

  • Mpox belongs to the family of poxviruses, which also includes smallpox, and people with the disease often develop a rash on various parts of the body.

  • According to WHO, since January 2022, there have been more than 87,000 mpox cases and 140 deaths in 111 countries.

What Is Monkeypox?

  • It is a viral zoonotic disease that is transmitted from animals to humans. 

  • Monkeypox virus is an orthopoxvirus similar to smallpox.

  • It has been identified as a smallpox-like disease in monkeys, hence it is called monkeypox.

  • It was first observed in 1958, in monkeys in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and in humans in 1970.

  • The disease outbreak in Nigeria in 2017 was the largest ever.

  • The monkeypox virus mutates at a high rate but is treatable once symptoms appear.

Symptom of disease

  • Fever, intense headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, swollen lymph nodes and a skin rash or lesions.

  • Infected people develop a rash resembling smallpox.

  • In the early stages of the disease, monkeypox and smallpox can be differentiated because the monkeypox lymph gland enlarges.

Transmission of disease

  • It spreads through close face to face, skin to skin and direct contact.

  • The disease can be spread through contact with bodily fluids, sores on the skin or internal mucous surfaces, such as the mouth or throat, respiratory droplets and contaminated objects.

Treatment and Vaccine

  • There is no specific treatment or vaccine available for monkeypox infection.

  • The anti-smallpox vaccine has been shown to be 85% effective in preventing monkeypox.

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