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Monkeypox: WHO considers renaming virus to avoid discrimination

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO said the organization was “working with partners and experts from around the world to change the name of the monster virus, its stages and the underlying disease”. The announcement of a new monekypox virus will be made “soon,” says Tedros.
The move comes after about 30 scientists from 11 countries called for the abolition of the “discriminatory” language used to distinguish the monopoly virus from a report released last week. (Image courtesy)

The World Health Organization (WHO) is considering changing the name of the monkey to avoid the stigma and discrimination associated with it as the virus continues to spread to humans.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO said the organization was “working with partners and experts from around the world to change the name of the monster virus, its stages and the underlying disease”.
The move comes after about 30 scientists from 11 countries called for the abolition of the “discriminatory” language used to distinguish the monopoly virus from a report released last week.
In an article posted on virological.org last week, scientists pushed out the “urgent need for a non-discriminatory and non-monotheistic name” and encouraged renaming the virus by numbers.
In the report, scientists raised concerns about the “prevailing view” in international media and scientific literature that the monopoly virus is endemic in some parts of Africa. “However, it has been found that almost every MPXV outbreak in Africa before the outbreak of 2022, has been the result of animal extinction in humans and there have been rare reports of human-to-human transmission,” they said.
Scientists warn of “an increase in media coverage and among many scientists who are trying to link the current global outbreak in Africa or West Africa, or Nigeria”.
They also suggested that the virus be broadly classified as “hMPXV” by its various meanings in neutral lines such as A, A.1, A.1.1, B.1.
The announcement of the new name would be made “immediately,” says Tedros.
This is not the first time that viruses have given place names. Similar concerns have been raised with the emergence of a new COVID-19 and its variants. When coronavirus was first discovered, people all over the world called it the Chinese virus or Wuhan, and the emergence of COVID strain in South Africa led to a travel ban. In response, WHO introduced a naming system that referred to new varieties such as the Greek alphabet.

News Reporter

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