Monday, November 28, 2022

Breaking: WHO Renames Monkeypox Virus, Citing Fears of Racism

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Monday that it will be renaming monkeypox as “mpox” moving forward due to fears that the original name could be misconstrued as insensitive and racist.

“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,” The agency said in a Monday press release.

There have been roughly 80,000 cases of Monkeypox identified which, outside of Africa, have nearly all cropped up in the LGBTQ community. There are now over 100 countries that have reported active cases.

The WHO’s statement echoes a group statement released by medical professionals back in June demanding the organization rename the disease.

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

The Biden administration declared a public-health emergency in early August, two weeks after the WHO first deemed Monkeypox a “global emergency.” American health officials have since stated that efforts to completely eliminate the disease may be near-impossible and would likely remain a continued problem within the gay community.

During this time, the WHO reportedly began publicly consulting with scientific experts to consider renaming the disease. Politico disclosed last Tuesday that the Biden White House also privately pressured the agency to rename monkeypox or face the United States acting unilaterally.

The WHO stated in its Monday press release that monkeypox and “mpox” will be used “simultaneously” for the coming year as the former is progressively phased out. The disease was originally named in 1958 following research in Denmark showing monkeys displaying “pox-like” symptoms.



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WHO Renames Monkeypox Virus, Citing Fears of Racism

The Biden White House reportedly pressured the agency to rename ... READ MORE


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