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WHO publishes a strategic framework for improving mpox prevention and control

WHO publishes a strategic framework for improving mpox prevention and control


Mpox continues to affect people around the world. New framework announced today by WHO will guide health authorities, communities and other stakeholders in preventing and controlling smallpox outbreaks, eliminating human-to-human transmission of the disease and reducing the spread of the virus from animals to humans.

Mpox is a viral disease caused by the monkeypox virus (MPXV). It can cause a painful rash, enlarged lymph nodes and fever. Most people make a full recovery, but some people get very sick. The virus is transmitted from person to person by close contacts, including sexual contact. It also has animal reservoirs in East, Central and West Africa, where it can occasionally spill over from animals to humans, triggering further outbreaks.

There are two distinct classes of viruses: clade I and clade II. Clade I outbreaks are more lethal than Clade II outbreaks.

A major outbreak of mpox associated with clade II began in 2017 and has spread to all regions of the world since 2022. Between July 2022 and May 2023, the outbreak was declared a public health emergency of international concern. Although that outbreak has largely subsided, cases and deaths continue to be reported today, indicating that low levels of transmission continue worldwide.

Currently there is ia a large outbreak of clade I viruses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where cases have been on the rise for decades. Since the beginning of the year, over 6,500 cases and 345 deaths have been reported in DR Congo. Almost half of them are children under the age of 15.

The Strategic framework for improving mpox prevention and control (2024-2027) provides a roadmap for health authorities, communities and stakeholders worldwide to control mpox outbreaks in any context, advance mpox research and countermeasures approaches, and minimize zoonotic transmission.




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