WHO renames monkeypox to ‘mpox’

WHO renames monkeypox to ‘mpox’


World Health Organization announced Monday that “mpox” is now the preferred name for monkeypox.

“Both names will be used simultaneously for a year while ‘monkey pox’ is phased out,” the organization said.

Monkeypox was named in 1970, more than a decade after the virus that causes the disease was discovered in captive monkeys, the organization said. But monkeypox probably didn’t start in monkeys—its origin is still unknown—and the virus can be found in several other animal species. The name was created before the WHO published it best practices for disease naming in 2015.

Since the beginning of the recent epidemic, scientists and experts have been urging change name to avoid discrimination and stigma that could deter people from testing and vaccination. Stigma is a constant concern because the epidemic has largely affected men who have sex with men. In the United States, blacks and Hispanics are disproportionately affected, data from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show.

This summer, New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan sent letter WHO to urge it to act quickly on the new name, saying there was “growing concern about the potentially devastating and stigmatizing effects that the ‘monkey pox’ virus message could have on these already vulnerable communities”.

In August, the WHO encouraged people to suggest new names for monkeypox by submitting suggestions to its website. The WHO said on Monday that the consultation process involved experts from medical, scientific, classification and statistical advisory boards “comprising representatives of government bodies from 45 different countries”.

“The use of the new name in different languages ​​was discussed extensively. The preferred term mpox can also be used in other languages,” the WHO statement said.

The WHO said Monday that “monkey pox” will continue to be searchable in the International Classification of Diseases to allow access to historical information, and the one-year period in which both will be used allows time to update publications and communications.

So far more than 81,000 cases of monkeypox in 110 cases were reported to WHO in a recent outbreak. The WHO says the global risk remains moderate, and outside West and Central African countries, the epidemic continues to primarily affect men who have sex with men.

#renames #monkeypox #mpox

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