The World Health Organization (WHO) will begin using a new preferred term “mpox” as a synonym for the monkeypox virus.
Both names will be used simultaneously for a year while “monkey pox” is phased out.
As the monkeypox outbreak spread earlier this year, racist and stigmatizing language was observed online, in other settings and in some communities, and reported to the WHO.
At several public and private meetings, a number of individuals and countries raised concerns and asked WHO to propose a way to change the name.
The designation of new and, very exceptionally, existing diseases is the responsibility of WHO according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the WHO family of international health-related classifications, through a consultative process involving Member States.
WHO held consultations to gather the views of a range of experts, as well as countries and the general public, who were invited to submit proposals for new names.
The Director-General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has now recommended adopting the new English synonym mpox for the disease.
Mpox will become a preferred term replacing monkeypox after a one-year transition period.
The term “monkeypox” remains a searchable term in the ICD to match historical information.
Human monkeypox first got its name in 1970. The virus that causes the disease was discovered in 1958 in captive monkeys.
Common signs of infection include the development of a new skin rash, fever, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/monkeypox-virus-renamed-mpox-due-to-racism-42179331.html Monkeypox virus was renamed to mpox due to racism