World Health Organization to rename monkeypox as mpox

PUBLISHED: Tue, 29 Nov 2022 11:12:47 GMT
Karen Gilchrist
CNBC
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Key Points
  • The World Health Organization said Monday that it would begin referring to monkeypox as mpox in an effort to reduce stigma around the virus.
  • Both names will be used simultaneously for a year while moneypox is phased out.
  • The new name was chosen after the WHO launched a public consultation process earlier this year.
The name mpox, otherwise known as Mpox, was chosen after the WHO launched a public consultation process earlier this year.
Orlando Sentinel | Tribune News Service | Getty Images

The World Health Organization said Monday that it would begin referring to monkeypox as mpox in an effort to reduce stigma around the name of the virus.

Both names will be used simultaneously for a year while moneypox is phased out, the global health organization said in a post on its website, encouraging others to follow the new naming convention.

The decision comes after the name monkeypox — so named after first being identified in monkeys — was criticized for adding to racial and sexual stigmatization.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that has undergone its largest global outbreak this year, spreading significantly in non-endemic countries outside of West and Central Africa, and primarily among gay and bisexual men.

The name mpox was chosen after the WHO launched a public consultation process earlier this year, opening out a process usually reserved for a closed door technical committee.

Poxy McPoxface, TRUMP-22 and mpox were among some of the names submitted.

The WHO said it hoped the chosen name mpox would “minimize any ongoing negative impact of the current name.”

The name mpox was submitted by men’s health organization Rezo. Its director said at the time that he hoped the removal of monkey imagery helped people take the health emergency seriously.

Over 81,000 cases of monkeypox and 55 deaths have been reported across 110 countries, so far this year, according to the WHO.

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