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Monkeypox to get a new name, says WHO

The World Health Organization says it is working with experts to come up with a new name for monkeypox.

It comes after more than 30 scientists last year wrote about the urgent need for a “non-discriminatory and non-discriminatory word” about the virus and the disease it causes.

Continuing to talk about the virus as Africans is wrong and discriminatory, they say.

About 1,600 cases of the disease have been recorded worldwide in recent weeks.

Although 72 people have been reported killed in countries where monkeys are already extinct, no one has been identified in the 32 recently affected countries, such as the UK.

In the latest figure, as of June 12, there were 452 confirmed cases in England, 12 in Scotland, 2 in Northern Ireland and 4 in Wales.
The World Health Organization says it will hold an emergency meeting next week to determine whether the disease will address the international public health emergency – the highest alarm the UN agency could call.

The only diseases that have been reported in the past are Swine flu, polio, Ebola, Zika and Covid.

World Health Organization official Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “Mental-pox outbreaks are rare and uncommon.

“For that reason I have decided to convene an Emergency Committee under international health law next week, to investigate whether this outbreak reflects an international public health emergency.”

What is a monkey?

Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus, a member of the same family of viruses as smallpox, albeit very small.

Its one new name suggested by scientists is hMPXV, but we will have to wait and see what the WHO thinks about it.

Infections are usually mild and the risk to most people is low, but the UK government has bought smallpox vaccine stocks to protect most cases.

The virus has been spreading rapidly around the world in recent months. Previous outbreaks have been confined mainly to parts of Africa where rats – not monkeys – are thought to be the main species.

The infection causes a rash that looks a little like a chicken. The virus can be spread when someone is close to someone who has the virus.

It has never been described as a sexually transmitted disease, but it can be transmitted by close contact.

News Reporter

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