Monkeypox may soon be renamed.
World Health Organization officials announced Friday that they plan to rename the disease in order to avoid any derogatory or racist connotations, a move that is in alignment with the best practices for naming diseases.
WHO added, The International Commission on the Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) is responsible for naming virus species, and it has begun a process for naming the monkeypox virus.
U.N. health officials made the decision after consulting scientists. The WHO will hold an open forum in order to consider new names that aren’t offensive to any specific groups.
The company renamed two families of the disease, replacing geographical designations such as the Congo Basin and West Africa with something like Clade one and two or the numerals I and II.
This law is designed to avoid offense to specific social groups and maintain good trade, tourism, and animal welfare, WHO says.
Other diseases still bear names originating in geographic areas where they developed or were first identified, including Japanese encephalitis, Marburg virus, Spanish influenza, and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
For more information:
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information on monkeypox.
SOURCE : WHO statement, Aug. 12, 2022; Associated Press