THE PLANET Health Organization says it’s holding an open forum to rename the condition monkeypox, after some critics raised concerns the name could possibly be derogatory or have racist connotations.
In a statement Friday, the U.N. health agency said it has additionally renamed two families, or clades, of the herpes virus, using Roman numerals rather than geographic areas, in order to avoid stigmatization. The version of the condition formerly referred to as the Congo Basin will now be referred to as Clade one or I and the West Africa clade will undoubtedly be referred to as Clade two or II.
WHO said your choice was made carrying out a meeting of scientists this week and consistent with current guidelines for naming diseases, which aims to “avoid causing offense to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional, or ethnic groups, and minimize any negative effect on trade, travel, tourism or animal welfare.”
Numerous other diseases, including Japanese encephalitis, Marburg virus, Spanish influenza and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome have already been named following the geographic areas where they first arose or were identified. WHO have not publicly suggested changing some of those names.
Monkeypox was initially named in 1958 when research monkeys in Denmark were observed to possess a “pox-like” disease, although they’re not regarded as the pet reservoir.
WHO said it had been also opening a way for the general public to suggest new names for monkeypox, but didn’t say when any new name will be announced.
Up to now, there were a lot more than 31,000 cases of monkeypox identified globally since May, with nearly all those beyond Africa. Monkeypox has been endemic in elements of central and west Africa for many years and had not been recognized to trigger large outbreaks beyond the continent until May.
WHO declared the global spread of monkeypox to be a global emergency in July and the U.S. declared its epidemic to become a national emergency earlier this month.
Beyond Africa, 98% of cases come in men who’ve sex with men. With just a limited global way to obtain vaccines, authorities are racing to avoid monkeypox before it becomes entrenched as a fresh disease.
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