The World Health Organisation has changed the name of the disease Monkeypox to Mpox, as they receive complaints about the word Monkeypox conjuring up racist tropes and stigmatizing patients. The recommendation follows outbreaks that began about six months ago in Europe and the United States.
Monkeypox Disease Name Changed to Mpox by WHO – Key Points
- Mpox has circulated in the rural development parts of Central Africa and West Africa for decades.
- WHO will adopt the term Mpox in its communications and encourages others to follow these recommendations.
- This decision was taken to minimize the ongoing negative impact of the current name and from the adoption of the new name.
- The name was inspired by a colony of caged lab monkeys in Denmark, where the virus was first identified by researchers.
- The WHO has promoted new criteria for naming infectious diseases.
- According to the recommendations, names should aim to reduce the unnecessary negative impacts on travel, tourism, or animal welfare.
- The criteria also avoid causing any offense to culture, social, national, regional, professional, or ethnic groups.
- The critics informed that Monkeypox reinforced ugly western stereotypes about Africa as a reservoir of pestilence and sexually transmitted pathogens.
- It was also informed that it played into racist stereotypes, deeply rooted in American culture, that compare Black people to primates.