Monkeypox No More: WHO Renames Disease to Avoid ‘Racism and Stigmatising Language’ 

Following the latest outbreak, “racism and stigmatising language” emerged, prompting global health experts to rename monkeypox.

The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that the disease’s preferred term will be “mpox.”

While the term “monkeypox” is phased out, both names will be used concurrently.

“When the monkeypox outbreak expanded earlier this year, racist and stigmatising language was observed and reported to WHO online, in other settings, and in some communities,” the international health organisation said in a statement.

“Following consultations with global experts, WHO will begin using a new preferred term ‘mpox’ as a synonym for monkeypox.” Both names will be used concurrently for one year while the term “monkeypox” is phased out.

WHO is in charge of naming new diseases and, “very rarely,” renaming existing ones.

Human monkeypox was named for the first time in 1970. In 1958, the virus that causes the disease was discovered in captive monkeys.

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