Why the WHO is renaming the name Monkeypox?

The World Health Organization (WHO) is renaming monkeypox out of concern that the name could be considered racist and may not accurately describe the origin of the virus.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in mid-June that the organization would rename Monkeypox.

“WHO is also working with partners and experts from around the world to change the name of the #monkeypox virus, its clades and the disease it causes. We will make announcements about the new names as soon as possible,” he said. According to the WHO.

A group of scientists wrote a joint statement earlier in June urging a renaming of the monkeypox, calling the current name “discriminatory and stigmatizing.”

“The prevailing perception in the international media and scientific literature is that: [monkeypox virus] is endemic to humans in some African countries. However, it is certain that almost all [monkeypox virus] outbreaks in Africa prior to the 2022 outbreak are the result of animal-to-human transfer and there have been rare reports of continued human-to-human transmission,” they said.

“In the context of the current global outbreak, the continued reference to and nomenclature of this virus being African is not only inaccurate, but also discriminatory and stigmatizing. The most obvious manifestation of this is the use of pictures of African patients to portray the smallpox lesions in the mainstream media in the north of the world.”

There are also concerns about whether the name of the virus accurately describes the origin of monkeypox. The virus got its name because it was first found in monkey colonies in 1958, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that the actual source of the virus is unclear.

That has led some officials to warn people not to target monkeys because of the disease.

“What people need to know very clearly is the transfer that we see taking place between people and people. It is close contact transmission. So the concern should be about where it’s being transmitted in the human population, and what people can do to protect themselves from getting it and passing it on. They should certainly not attack animals,” WHO spokesman Margaret Harris said on Tuesday.

The renaming campaign is taking place against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which former President Trump has dubbed the “China virus” and “Wuhan virus.” WHO officials have warned against using that terminology as it could stigmatize the Asian community.

Leave a Comment