A pox by any other name is still as infectious.
I have recently reported on a new disease from China and fresh concerns about potential polio infections in New York.
But I have not forgotten monkeypox. As of right now, there are over 10,000 reported cases in this country.
More than 10,000 Americans have now tested positive in the monkeypox outbreak across the U.S., according to figures published late Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as federal health officials say they are still racing to contain the virus.
Cases have been reported in every state but Wyoming while 15 states and the District of Columbia have reported more than a hundred cases. The largest numbers are in New York, California and Florida.
No U.S. deaths have so far been reported, out of the 12 monkeypox fatalities the World Health Organization has tallied so far this year.
The World Health Organization is hosting a forum to address the virus. Not the disease . . . but the name.
In a statement Friday, the U.N. health agency said it has also renamed two families, or clades, of the virus, using Roman numerals instead of geographic areas, to avoid stigmatization. The version of the disease formerly known as the Congo Basin will now be known as Clade one or I and the West Africa clade will be known as Clade two or II.
WHO said the decision was made following a meeting of scientists this week and in line with current best practices for naming diseases, which aims to “avoid causing offense to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional, or ethnic groups, and minimize any negative impact on trade, travel, tourism or animal welfare.”
Numerous other diseases, including Japanese encephalitis, Marburg virus, Spanish influenza and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome have been named after the geographic areas where they first arose or were identified. WHO has not publicly suggested changing any of those names.
Monkeypox was first named in 1958 when research monkeys in Denmark were observed to have a “pox-like” disease, although they are not thought to be the animal reservoir.
The name has clearly got to check all the woke boxes. However, many will opt to use the name made popular by Fox News Host Tucker Carlson.
— Mark Rowley (@MarkWRowley) August 2, 2022
Perhaps Carlson can contact WHO about the results of his poll, as the agency is reaching out to the public for help with the name.
TWHO said it was also opening a way for the public to suggest new names for monkeypox, but did not say when any new name would be announced.
o date, there have been more than 31,000 cases of monkeypox identified globally since May, with the majority of those beyond Africa. Monkeypox has been endemic in parts of central and west Africa for decades and was not known to trigger large outbreaks beyond the continent until May.
WHO declared the global spread of monkeypox to be an international emergency in July and the U.S. declared its own epidemic to be a national emergency earlier this month.
Outside of Africa, 98% of cases are in men who have sex with men. With only a limited global supply of vaccines, authorities are racing to stop monkeypox before it becomes entrenched as a new disease.
It doesn’t matter what the name is: A pox by any other name is still as infectious. Hopefully, the case fatality rate will remain low, as it appears public health officials will not be able to contain the spread of this virus.DONATE
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