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WHO to rename monkeypox virus to avoid discrimination

The urgent move to change the name comes after scientists called it ‘wrong’ and ‘racist’ as the virus spreads.
The World Health Organization has said it will rename monopolypox to avoid stigma and discrimination as the virus continues to spread to humans as a result of an unprecedented global outbreak.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of WHO, said that the organization is “working with partners and experts from around the world to change the name of the monkey virus, its stages and the disease it causes”.

The move comes after scientists called for a “urgent” change in the term they described as “inappropriate”, “discriminatory” and “discriminatory” in a report released last week. The announcement of the new name would be made “immediately,” says Tedros.

Similar concerns have been raised in the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic where new Covid variants have been named after countries or regions where they were first discovered, leading to travel restrictions and other restrictions. In response, WHO introduced a naming system that referred to new varieties such as the Greek alphabet.

In the report, scientists raised concerns about the “prevailing view” in the media and scientific literature that the monopoly virus is endemic to humans in some African countries, and that the virus is most commonly found in animals, which has occasionally erupted during attacks. infecting people.

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”. By the time the UK Health Security Agency first sounded the alarm after a monkeypox man arrived in London from Nigeria on May 4, the virus had been spreading for a long time, especially between men who had sex with men.
The WHO currently refers to two species of baboon, namely “West Africa” ​​and “Congo (central Africa)”. This year’s outbreak is driven by the previous version, which is more dangerous than the latest.

“In the context of the current global outbreak, the continued reference to the virus in Africa is not only accurate but also discriminatory and discriminatory,” the experts wrote. They continue to criticize the use of images of African patients with pox ulcers to cover up the outbreak of the northern hemisphere.

In the report, scientists used the term “hMPXV” in the human monocyxox virus as a substitute for the virus that causes the current international outbreak in humans and the virus that is commonly found in animals.

On Wednesday, WHO director-general in Europe, Dr. Hans Kluge, described the magnitude of the outbreak as “extremely dangerous”, telling a news conference: “The longer the virus travels, the more it will spread and strengthen the spread of the disease. will enter countries that do not end there. He called on “governments, health partners and civil society organizations” to “act urgently” in order to “control the outbreak”.

At the same forum, Steve Taylor, a board member at European Pride, said LGBTQ + events should not be shut down because of the disease, but instead used to spread public health messages about monkeys. He said there are about 750 Pride events to be held in Europe this summer.

“We have been working with the WHO in recent weeks to improve our message and we will encourage Pride organizations across Europe to use their events to raise awareness about the truth so that people can protect themselves,” he said. “Sadly, but with full forecasting, some of those who oppose Pride and who oppose equality and human rights are already trying to use the monkey as a reason to call for Pride to be banned.

“We are pleased that the WHO guideline is clear that Pride and big events should not be affected and, in fact, opportunities to share important public health messages,” he added.

UKHSA announced 52 more monkeypox cases in England on Wednesday, one in Scotland and another in Wales, bringing the UK to 524 since June 14. More than 1,800 monopoly cases have now been confirmed in many countries outside Africa in the recent outbreak.

UKHSA has urged people to contact a sexual health clinic if they have blisters and are very close, including having sex, with someone who has had a stroke in the past three weeks, or who has been to West or Central Africa for the past three weeks.

The WHO will convene an emergency meeting of monkeypox experts next week to advise on whether the current outbreak is an international public health emergency, which means we need a systematic response.

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