The World Health Organization (WHO) is renaming monkeypox amid issues that the title could also be thought of racist and won’t precisely describe the origin of the virus.
WHO director basic Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated in mid-June that the group could be renaming monkeypox.
“WHO is also working with partners and experts from around the world on changing the name of #monkeypox virus, its clades and the disease it causes. We will make announcements about the new names as soon as possible,” he stated, according to WHO.
A bunch of scientists wrote a joint statement earlier in June urging for the monkeypox to be renamed, calling the present title “discriminatory and stigmatizing.”
“The prevailing perception in the international media and scientific literature is that [monkeypox virus] is endemic in people in some African countries. However, it is well established that nearly all [monkeypox virus] outbreaks in Africa prior to the 2022 outbreak, have been the result of spillover from animals to humans and only rarely have there been reports of sustained human-to-human transmissions,” they stated.
“In the context of the current global outbreak, continued reference to, and nomenclature of this virus being African is not only inaccurate but is also discriminatory and stigmatizing. The most obvious manifestation of this is the use of photos of African patients to depict the pox lesions in mainstream media in the global north.”
There are additionally issues about whether or not the title of the virus precisely describes the origin of the monkeypox. The virus acquired its title as a result of it was first present in monkey colonies in 1958, however the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that the actual source of the virus is unclear.
That’s led some officers to warn folks towards concentrating on monkeys over the illness.
“What people need to know very clearly is the transmission we are seeing is happening between humans to humans. It’s close contact transmission. So the concern should be about where it’s transmitting in the human population, and what humans can do to protect themselves from getting it and transmitting it. They should certainly not be attacking any animals,” WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris stated on Tuesday.
The renaming marketing campaign comes amid the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which former President Trump has known as the ‘China virus” and “Wuhan virus.” WHO officers have warned not to use that terminology, on condition that it could actually stigmatize the Asian neighborhood.