Monkeypox to be renamed as scientists search for a non-discriminatory name – World News

The World Health Organization has announced it is working with experts to find a new name for monkeypox, which has been spreading rapidly around the world in recent weeks

Test tubes labeled monkeypox
The name monkeypox makes racist and discriminatory references to Africa

As cases of monkeypox continue to rise, with around 1,600 cases recorded worldwide in the past two months, scientists are looking for a new name for the virus.

Caused by the monkeypox virus, which is a less serious member of the same virus family as smallpox, monkeypox causes a rash that resembles chickenpox.

It is thought to spread when someone is in close contact with an infected person, with warnings against sex while suffering from monkeypox symptoms.

The virus, once confined to parts of Africa where rodents — not monkeys — were the primary animal host, has spread across the world. Therefore, experts want to rename monkeypox.

Why do scientists want to rename monkeypox?

A new proposed name for monkeypox is hMPXV


Centers for Disease Control and)

Experts have expressed the urgent need to find another name for the monkeypox virus to prevent stigma and discrimination against the disease and its causes.

That’s because continued reference to the virus as African is both inaccurate and discriminatory, according to more than 30 scientists calling for the name change.

The current name also doesn’t fit World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, which recommend avoiding geographic regions and animal names.

According to a WHO official, discussions are ongoing between the health authority and scientists about the new name, with the goal of finding a name that “does not offend any cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic group”.

One name that has been suggested by scientists is hMPXV, but the WHO has not yet confirmed their opinion on this name.

Is monkeypox dangerous?

Monkeypox has spread to 32 new countries, but there have been no deaths in those countries


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Monkeypox infections have been found to be mostly mild, with a low risk to the general population.

However, the virus has now spread to 32 countries, with 452 confirmed cases in England, 12 in Scotland, two in Northern Ireland and four in Wales as of Sunday 12 June.

Although there have been no deaths in any of the newly affected countries, including the UK, there have been 72 deaths in countries where monkeypox is already endemic.

The WHO will hold an emergency meeting next week to discuss whether to classify the outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, which is the highest alert they can raise for any disease.

Previous diseases classified this way include swine flu, polio, ebola, zika, and covid.

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “The outbreak of monkeypox is unusual and worrying. For this reason, I have decided to convene the Emergency Committee under International Health Regulations next week to assess whether this outbreak constitutes an international health emergency of concern.”

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