Wednesday, June 15, 2022
The World Health Organization will officially rename monkeypox, in light of concerns about stigma and racism surrounding the virus that has infected over 1,600 people in more than two dozen countries.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director general, announced Tuesday morning that the organization is “working with partners and experts from around the world on changing the name of monkeypox virus, its clades and the disease it causes.” He said the WHO will make announcements about the new names as soon as possible.
More than 30 international scientists said last week that the monkeypox label is discriminatory and stigmatizing, and there’s an “urgent” need to rename it. The current name doesn’t fit with WHO guidelines that recommend avoiding geographic regions and animal names, a spokesperson said.