Monkeypox to be renamed, WHO says

The World Health Organization is developing a new name for monkeypox.

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The organization is doing so after 30 scientists wrote about the “urgent need for a non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing” name for the condition.

So far there have been more than 1,800 cases confirmed worldwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or about two-hundred-thousandths of a percentage of the population.

The scientists from Africa and other areas are proposing to discard the existing names for the two types of monkeypox — Central African or Congo Basin — but given that the scientists do not know where the current outbreak originated from and since it has spread across the globe, they are proposing changing the virus clades to numbers, STAT News reported.

Christian Happi, the director of the African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases at Redeemer’s University, told STAT, “If SARS-CoV-2, for instance, was not named the Wuhan virus … then the question is, why do we have a virus or a clade named after a specific geographical location in Africa, and then by extension that extends to the people in those areas.”

The WHO will be holding an emergency meeting on June 23 to decide whether the outbreak is a global health emergency, The Associated Press reported. The committee will also decide how to coordinate a response.

If the monkeypox outbreak is declared a global health emergency, it will have the same designation as the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there were 72 monkeypox or orthopoxvirus cases in the U.S.

The majority of cases were found in New York and California — with each state having 15.

The CDC said it is not sure how the patients contracted the condition.