Despite a significant decline in monkeypox detections worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) does not lift the international health emergency that has been declared. She announced this in Geneva, following the recommendation of an independent expert council. There are still cases of monkeypox (Mpox) in more than 30 countries, WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

“The possible under-reporting and under-reporting of confirmed cases in some regions is of concern, particularly in countries where animal-to-human transmission of Mpox disease has previously been reported,” he said. The WHO now speaks of Mpox and no longer of monkeypox (monkeypox), because the disease actually has nothing to do with monkeys, but was only accidentally detected in monkeys for the first time. Tedros called on all countries to remain vigilant.

The state of emergency has been in effect since July 23, 2022, after monkeypox was suddenly detected in numerous countries, which until then had only been known to occur in a few African countries. The declaration of an international health emergency – or the lifting – has no immediate consequences. With this alert level, the WHO only wants to raise awareness of a threat among governments. Countries decide for themselves what measures to take.

The disease is caused by the monkeypox virus. The most noticeable symptom are skin changes, which can also occur in the genital and anal region. According to the WHO, 96.5 percent of those infected are men – most of them between 18 and 44 years old. About 84 percent of the registered cases where the sexual orientation was known are men who have sex with men.

The number of reported cases of up to several thousand per week has fallen sharply since autumn 2022. In the week of February 6-12, 2023, 270 cases were reported to the WHO from around the world. In total, the WHO has registered around 86,000 infections from dozens of countries and over 90 deaths since the beginning of 2022. There have been around 3,700 registered cases in Germany since May 2022, and only a few have been reported since October. There is a vaccination against the virus. The WHO has been pushing hard to boost production.