KazPost

Kazakhstan News
Tuesday, Feb 27, 2024

Monkeypox Is Getting a New Name, WHO Announces

Monkeypox Is Getting a New Name, WHO Announces

An emerging disease is set to get a new coat of paint. Officials at the World Health Organization announced this week that they will soon choose a different name for the disease known as monkeypox—one intended to avoid the stigmatization and inaccuracy of its current moniker. The name of the virus behind the disease, also called monkeypox, may change as well, but that decision will have to formally be made by a separate group.
Last week, a group of international scientists published a lengthy paper on the open-access site Virological asking for the change. They argued that monkeypox is an ill-fitting name for the virus and disease, especially in light of its recent global outbreaks that began to be noticed this year.

The virus was first discovered in monkeys in the 1950s, and by the 1970s, it became apparent that it could infect and sicken humans occasionally as well. But the virus’s natural hosts are actually thought to be rodents. And up until recently, human outbreaks have been limited to certain parts of Africa and fueled largely by animal-to-human transmission. This year, however, the virus has infected at least hundreds of people in over two dozen countries and there is clear evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission. And the genetic signature of the virus found in these newer outbreaks suggests that it’s been circulating outside Africa for longer than we knew.

Public health experts are still hoping that the virus can be contained before it establishes itself in new parts of the world. But the scientists behind the Virological paper say that the version of monkeypox now spreading globally should no longer be considered or implied to be an “African” disease, such as through media images that only depict its rashy symptoms on African residents. Thus, they’ve called for a name and future labeling that is “neutral, non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing.”

Currently, for instance, there are two known evolutionary branches of the virus, also known as clades. These groups have been called the “Congo” and “West African” clades, after where they were first identified (the current global outbreaks are caused by “West African” strains). The scientists proposed that the clades should be renamed to clades 1, 2, and 3, with 2 and 3 representing what used to be known as the “West African” clade. As a placeholder label for the virus that’s traveling around the globe, they offered “human monkeypox”, or hMPXV.

At the time of the paper, the authors noted that they had been in contact with the WHO regarding a name change. And on Tuesday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced that the WHO was working on a new name for the disease. Notably, the WHO has made it a formal policy since 2015 to avoid names for diseases that might have negative effects on geographical regions, people, or economical sectors, such as “Spanish flu”—the inaccurate nickname given to the influenza virus behind the 1918 pandemic (Spain was merely the first country to widely report cases and not where it originated).

The WHO’s new labeling of monkeypox will undoubtedly be followed by countries and public health organizations around the world. But importantly, the agency is not responsible for designating the formal scientific name of a virus—that’s up to the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV), which is helmed by virologists in the field. And the names chosen by the WHO and ICTV can often differ. Covid-19, for instance, is the name of the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, though the WHO and public health organizations will sometimes use the shorthand of calling it the covid-19 virus. The authors of the Virological paper say they’ve been in discussions with the ICTV as well, and the WHO and ICTV may very well announce their respective name changes at the same time, as they did with covid-19/SARS-CoV-2.

Whether the new name for monkeypox ends up being, we’re likely to keep hearing it a lot in the near future. Next week, the WHO is convening a meeting to decide whether the outbreaks this year should be designated a public health emergency of international concern—an alert that was last called for the ongoing covid-19 pandemic.
Newsletter

Related Articles

KazPost
0:00
0:00
Close
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
An Ominous Shift in Warfare: Western Powers Risk War Crimes and Violate International Norms with Cluster Bomb Supply to Ukraine
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
Corruption in the European Parliament - Business as usual
UK Crypto and Stablecoin Regulations Become Law as Royal Assent is Granted
Paris Suburb Grapples with Violence as Curfew Imposed: Saint-Denis Residents Express Dismay and Anger
A Delaware city wants to let businesses vote in its elections
Alef Aeronautics Achieves Historic Milestone with Flight Certification for World's First Flying Car
Google Blocked Access to Canadian News in Response to New Legislation
French Politicians Advocate for Pan-European Regulation on Social Media Influencers
×