The disease monkeypox gets a new name: The World Health Organization (WHO) is now using Mpox instead of Monkeypox, announced Monday in Geneva.
For one more year, both names would stand side by side before only Mpox would be used. The new name was chosen because it is also easy to pronounce and use in other languages, the WHO said.
The virus also gets a new name
The virus itself is also to be given a new name. This is the responsibility of an independent expert council (ICTV), which has not yet been decided. Already in August, the designations subgroup I and subgroup II had been introduced for the two virus subgroups named after African regions.
The disease was called Monkeypox only because it was discovered in monkeys in 1958. However, monkeys have nothing to do with this year’s outbreaks. Instead, humans become infected during close physical contact with other humans. Nevertheless, monkeys were attacked this year in Brazil, for example, because humans blamed them for the outbreaks.
Neutral name for Sars-CoV-2
Generally, WHO guidelines state that names for diseases should avoid references to specific countries, regions, or animals. In addition, the title should be easy to pronounce.
Even after the then-novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan in, China, the WHO had worked hard on a neutral name to prevent names such as China virus or Wuhan virus from becoming established. The disease caused by the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus is called Covid-19, an abbreviation of Coronavirus Disease. The 19 shows that the disease first appeared in 2019.
- source: orf.at/picture: pixabay.com
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