In the course of time, WHO- the world health organization has renamed monkeypox as mpox stating that it is observed as ‘racist and stigmatizing language. The term monkeypox has been in use for almost a few decades and it’s not quite easy to apply the alternated phrase readily.
The first monkeypox case was documented in the year 1970 and a wide study was conducted by experts which led to the discovery of monkeypox viruses in captive monkeys.
From Monkeypox To Mpox
Both names will be used concurrently for a year as “monkeypox” is phased out, according to the WHO. The immediate change by the world health organization received varied opinions from around the world and global health equity advocate Dr. Ifeanyi Nsofor was seen favoring the change. Even though, he criticizes the sudden change by pointing to the potential confusion that it may create among the masses as the disease is currently causing outbreaks.
Also, he adds that using both terms in a parallel manner will lack clarity. At the same time, the agency defends against this statement stating that the one-year delay is a prerequisite for updating publications and records. Monkeypox was greatly affected in the US and Europe regions and spread its claws to 100 other countries within a short amount of time.
World health organization along with other health organizations tries hard to limit the spreading of the disease. This viral disease comes with symptoms such as rashes and intense fever and unfortunately, one to 3 percent of the people infected with the disease have died in recent outbreaks.
Monkeypox can be worsened in children and other individuals with any underlying medical conditions and without proper treatment. Regarding the change of name, it does not apply any changes to the disease or its associated features. Moreover, the scientific names of viruses and diseases are determined by the international committee on the taxonomy of viruses.
Critics point out that the name monkeypox denotes racist behavior toward African and black people and provide evidence such as the online images related to the disease which depicts only black people.
The new york city health commissioner Doctor Aswin Vasa informed his interest in renaming the disease monkeypox disease by righting a letter to the world health Organization Tedros, stating that it has created ‘ potentially devastating and stigmatizing effects. According to the world health organization, the process of changing the name is still ongoing.
In regards to the process, Mike Ryan said “no matter what we use, if people are determined to misuse and to weaponize names in order to isolate or discriminate or stigmatize people, then that will always continue”. But, the secretary of the international committee on the taxonomy of viruses stated that the term monkey can still be used saying “ the consensus is that the use of there is no need to change because the word “monkey” has been sufficiently distanced from any negative connotation.
The name monkeypox was given to this particular disease in the year 1970 during its first outbreak. But as per the rules, a newfound disease should be named clearing out unisensory negative impressions that may affect areas namely trade, tourism, animals, culture, etc.
According to the international classification of diseases, the name of the disease should be decided by the world health organization whereas the naming of a virus is the responsibility of the earlier-mentioned international committee on the taxonomy of viruses (ICTV). It was according to these procedures that monkeypox was changed to mpox.