WHO renames monkeypox as mpox, citing racism concerns


The World Health Organization is renaming monkeypox as mpox, citing concerns the original name of the decades-old animal disease could be construed as discriminatory and racist
LONDON — The World Health Organization has renamed monkeypox as mpox, citing concerns the original name of the decades-old animal disease could be construed as discriminatory and racist.
The U.N. health agency said in a statement Monday that mpox was its new preferred name for monkeypox, saying that both monkeypox and mpox would be used for the next year while the old name is phased out.
WHO said it was concerned by the “racist and stigmatizing language” that arose after monkeypox spread to more than 100 countries. It said numerous individuals and countries asked the organization “to propose a way forward to change the name.”
In August, WHO began consulting experts about renaming the disease, shortly after the U.N. agency declared monkeypox’s spread to be a global emergency.
To date, there have been more than 80,000 cases identified in dozens of countries that had not previously reported the smallpox-related disease. Until May, monkeypox, a disease that is thought to originate in animals, was not known to trigger large outbreaks beyond central and west Africa.
Outside of Africa, nearly all cases have been in gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men. Scientists believe monkeypox triggered outbreaks in Western countries after spreading via sex at two raves in Belgium and Spain. Vaccination efforts in rich countries, along with targeted control interventions, have mostly brought the disease under control after it peaked in the summer.
In Africa, the disease mainly affects people in contact with infected animals such as rodents and squirrels. The majority of monkeypox-related deaths have been in Africa, where there have been almost no vaccines available.
U.S. health officials have warned it may be impossible to eliminate the disease there, warning it could be a continuing threat mainly for gay and bisexual men for years to come.
Mpox was first named monkeypox in 1958 when research monkeys in Denmark were observed to have a “pox-like” disease, although they are not thought to be the disease’s animal reservoir.

RELATED: WHO renames monkeypox as mpox, citing racism concerns


RELATED: Vaccine appears to protect against monkeypox, CDC says

WASHINGTON (AP) — At-risk people who received a single dose of the monkeypox vaccine in U.S. efforts against the virus appeared to be significantly less likely to get sick, public health officials announced Wednesday, even as they urged a second dose for full protection.
It was the first look public health officials have offered into how the Jynneos vaccine is affecting monkeypox, a virus that is primarily spread among men who have sex with infected men.
“These new data provide us with a level of cautious optimism that the vaccine is working as intended,” Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday.
Roughly 800,000 first and second doses of the vaccine have been administered across the country to people who are considered high risk for becoming infected with the virus, White House National Monkeypox Response Coordinator Bob Fenton said.

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By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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