Monkeypox: WHO renames virus ‘mpox’ to avoid stigma


The World Health Organisation has decided to use ‘mpox’ for a virus previously known as monkeypox.

The global health organisation announced this in Geneva on Monday.

The two names will be used simultaneously for another year before only mpox will be used exclusively.


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According to the WHO, the new name was chosen because it is easy to pronounce and can be used in many languages.

The virus itself is also to be given a new name. 

This is the responsibility of an independent expert council (ICTV), but it has yet to decide.

The disease was called monkeypox because it was first discovered in monkeys in 1958.

However, monkeys had nothing to do with the outbreaks this year. 

Instead, humans become infected through close physical contact with other humans.

Nevertheless, monkeys were attacked this year in Brazil, for example, because humans held them responsible for the outbreaks.

According to WHO guidelines, disease names should avoid references to specific countries, regions or animals.

In addition, the name should be easy to pronounce.

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