The World Health Organization (WHO) renamed monkeypox to mpox because the original name “could be construed as discriminatory and racist.”
WHO opened a forum in August to focus on a new monkeypox name.
From the press release:
Following a series of consultations with global experts, WHO will begin using a new preferred term “mpox” as a synonym for monkeypox. Both names will be used simultaneously for one year while “monkeypox” is phased out.
When the outbreak of monkeypox expanded earlier this year, racist and stigmatizing language online, in other settings and in some communities was observed and reported to WHO. In several meetings, public and private, a number of individuals and countries raised concerns and asked WHO to propose a way forward to change the name.
Assigning names to new and, very exceptionally, to existing diseases is the responsibility of WHO under the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the WHO Family of International Health Related Classifications through a consultative process which includes WHO Member States.
Scientists named the disease monkeypox in 1970 when they discovered it in captive monkeys in 1958.
People still don’t know the exact origins of it, though.
Monkeypox didn’t become a known virus around the world until this year. Well, Legal Insurrection readers knew about monkeypox before the outbreak because our fabulous Leslie Eastman keeps us updated on all virus and bacterial matters around the world.
Anyway, before 2022, the virus mostly stayed in Africa. The world has seen 80,000 reported cases in countries that never had a reported case of monkeypox.
Most of those cases involved men who had sex with other men. Scientists believe the spread came from “sex at two waves in Belgium and Spain.”
Rename all you want, but you cannot erase the facts: It started in Africa, and most patients are men who had sex with other men.
The Associated Press even mentioned how WHO hadn’t given a second thought to renaming other diseases named after their geographic origin: Japanese encephalitis, German measles, Marburg virus, and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome.DONATE
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