Monkeypox will soon no longer be called monkeypox. According to several media reports, the World Health Organization (WHO) would like to change the name. WHO is following a recent call by 30 scientists to choose a “non-discriminatory” and “non-stigmatizing” name.
The researchers write: “The prevailing perception in the international media and scientific literature is that MPXV is endemic to humans in some African countries.” Endemic means localized. Scientists disagree with the public perception mentioned.
Scientists: Don’t associate the global monkeypox epidemic with Africa
Almost all monkeypox outbreaks in Africa prior to this year’s outbreak are known to have resulted from animal-to-human spread, with rare reports of prolonged human-to-human transmission.
Consequently, the description of the virus as African “is not only imprecise, but also discriminatory and stigmatizing”. Furthermore, many media outlets would show pictures of Africans who have been infected. The origin of the virus is still unclear. But, according to the scientists, “there is mounting evidence that the most likely scenario is that transcontinental cryptic transmission to humans has lasted longer than previously thought.” The current global infection process should therefore not be associated with Africa, West Africa or Nigeria.
“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 announce the new names as soon as possible, “said World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, according to a Fox News report.