Because of discrimination    WHO renames monkeypox

Because of discrimination WHO renames monkeypox

Monkeypox is currently referred to as the “African virus”. To avoid stigma and racism, the WHO is looking for a new name.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday that it will rename the monkeypox virus, which has infected more than 1,600 people in 39 countries this year, after concerns that the name could be stigmatizing. “WHO is working with partners and experts around the world to rename the monkeypox virus, its clade (lineage community) and the disease it causes,” said World Health Organization Director-General Tedros. Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at a press conference. “We will announce the new names as soon as possible.”

A group of scientists from Africa wrote a paper describing the “urgent need for a non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing name” for the virus. The scientists argued that the designation of the monkeypox virus as the “African” virus was cause for concern and instead referred to the virus as “hMPXV”. “In light of the current global outbreak, the continued naming of this virus as African is not only inaccurate, but also discriminatory and stigmatizing,” the researchers said.

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Viruses cannot be named after regions or animals

The term “monkeypox” does not currently meet WHO guidelines, which state that viruses should not be named after geographic regions or animal names. The group suggested that the WHO rename the different tribes, and it looks like the organization is moving forward. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the organization is “working with partners and experts from around the world to change the name of the smallpox virus, its clades and the disease it causes”.

The name change proposal is similar to the controversy surrounding the renaming of the Covid-19 virus, which was known as the China virus or Wuhan virus when it still had no official name. Monkeypox originally got its name because it was discovered in laboratory monkeys in 1958, when two outbreaks were identified in monkey colonies. The first human case was detected in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The biggest recent outbreak is in the UK, where health authorities have detected 470 cases. Human-to-human transmission of the virus primarily occurs through direct contact with infected people or contaminated surfaces.

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Rodents are believed to be the main vectors of the disease for humans. While the world is still recovering from the CoV pandemic, the current smallpox outbreak could be cause for concern. The WHO is planning a meeting on June 23 to decide whether the outbreak should be classified as a public health emergency.

Nav sp Account Time 15/06/2022, 22:51| Act: 06/15/2022, 22:51