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WHO RENAMES MONKEYPOX AS “MPOX”

monkeypox rash illustration


November 28, 2022 | By Colin O. Jarrett |

The World Health Organization (WHO), has renamed monkeypox as “mpox” citing concerns the original name of the decades-old animal disease could be construed as discriminatory and racist.

In a statement Monday November 28, the UN health agency said “mpox” was its new preferred name for monkeypox, saying both names 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 the WHO began consulting experts about renaming the disease, shortly after the UN agency declared monkeypox 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.

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