WHO ready to meet in Geneva and decide new name for ‘Monkeypox’

The World Health Organization (WHO) will hold an emergency meeting Thursday at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, to determine a new name for monkeypox and determine whether its spread is an emergency of international concern.

More than 1,600 confirmed cases of monkeypox and nearly 1,500 suspected cases have been reported this year from seven countries where monkeypox has been detected for years and 32 newly affected countries, according to WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Before this outbreak, monkeypox was only seen in areas of central and western Africa.

The virus is not considered overly dangerous, but pregnant women and children may be at risk.

Tedros told the United Nations that the “global outbreak of monkeypox is clearly unusual and worrying”.

He believes that international coordination is necessary to prevent the virus from spreading.

He also pledged to push for the urgent name change to allay concerns about the stigma and racism associated with the word, as Breitbart News reported

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided intimate guidance for those considering sexual activity in an age of monkeypox.  The tips fall under the published headings Social Gatherings, Safer Sex and Monkeypox.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided intimate guidelines for those considering sexual activity in an era of monkeypox. The tips fall under the published headings Social Gatherings, Safer Sex and Monkeypox.

In Canada, Toronto Public Health will set up vaccination clinics for monkey pox in several locations around the city, including several bathhouses. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Ibrahima Socé Fall, WHO’s deputy director for emergency aid, has informed the UN that the virus is spreading faster across Europe, while other countries consider the risk to be moderate.

As for the name change, a group of scientists recently said in a statement to virological.com that the time has come to end stigmatizing people from Africa. They said:

In the context of the current global outbreak, the continued reference to and nomenclature of this virus being African is not only inaccurate, but also discriminatory and stigmatizing. The most obvious manifestation of this is the use of pictures of African patients to portray the smallpox lesions in the mainstream media in the north of the world.

Recently, the Foreign Press Association, Africa, released a statement calling on the global media to stop using images of African people to highlight the outbreak in Europe.

Oyewale Tomori, a virologist at Redeemer’s University in Nigeria, said he supported changing the name of the monkeypox clades, as did other colleagues in Africa itself.

“But even the name Monkeypox is different. It’s not the right name,” he said told wire service AFP.

“If I were a monkey I would protest because it’s not really a monkey disease.”

Monkeypox, according to a description on the WHO website, “is a zoonosis: a disease that is transmitted from animals to humans.”

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