WHO is ready to rename monkeypox to hMPXV amid fears it could fuel racism

MONKEYPOX to be renamed amid fears it could fuel racism.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is overseeing a review of the bug – which could see the disease called hMPXV.

Cases of monkeypox have risen worldwide, with 470 cases detected in the UK


Cases of monkeypox have risen worldwide, with 470 cases detected in the UKPhoto credit: Getty

The disease was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a smallpox-like disease occurred in research monkey colonies – hence the name monkeypox.

The WHO review comes after 30 scientists wrote a letter calling for the change amid concerns it could fuel racism and stigma.

Anyone can get monkeypox, and prior to the current outbreak, it was mainly found in African countries.

However, experts fear that references to the disease as African are problematic.

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said they are currently working with experts around the world to change the name of the virus.

In a letter to the organization, scientists said that “continued reference to and nomenclature of this virus as African is not only inaccurate but also discriminatory and stigmatizing”.

The note continued, “The most obvious manifestation of this is the use of photographs of African patients to portray the smallpox lesions in mainstream media in the Global North.”

Medical professionals claim the “current narrative” links the rise in cases to Africa, West Africa or Nigeria.

However, they state that like any other disease, it can occur in any region of the world and affect anyone, regardless of race or ethnicity.

“As such, we believe no race or color should be the face of this disease,” they added.

dr Tedros also announced that the WHO would meet next week to discuss whether or not the outbreak would be given “emergency status”.

Around 1,600 cases have been detected around the world in recent weeks – something experts are calling “worrying”.

In the US, the total number of registered infections is 72, with California and New York having the highest number of cases.

“For this reason, I have decided to convene the Emergency Committee under international health regulations next week to assess whether this outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern,” said Dr. tedros

524 cases have been detected in the UK after 152 were confirmed today.

Anyone can get the disease, with Britons being urged to see a sexual health clinic if they develop new blisters or a rash.

You need to know the signs of monkeypox

Experts at Britain’s Health Safety Agency have said all Britons should be on the lookout for important signs and symptoms.

Signs can include:

  1. Fever
  2. headache
  3. Muscle cramp
  4. back pain
  5. chills
  6. exhaustion
  7. night sweats
  8. Cold symptoms such as stuffy and runny nose
  9. Swollen lymph nodes
  10. Swollen groin
  11. rash

Medical professionals said complications of the disease were documented as:

  • Bad mood
  • strong pain
  • conjunctivitis

A technical briefing issued by the UKHSA on Friday found most cases are in London – 99 per cent of them in men.

The median age of confirmed cases in the UK was 38 years old.

The UKHSA acknowledged that “traditional contact tracing is currently a challenge”.

Where information on sex was available, 311 of 314 confirmed cases were male, three confirmed female cases.

Monkeypox is not considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

However, the data suggests that this is the main way the virus spreads.

The main symptoms of monkeypox are a flu-like illness with fever, chills, and muscle aches, followed by a chickenpox-like rash.

The rash develops into painful blisters before the scab forms — and a person is contagious until their scabs fall off.

The UKHSA said people should contact a sexual health clinic if they have a blistered rash and have been in close contact with someone who may have monkeypox in the last three weeks.

dr Meera Chand, Director, Clinical and Emerging Infections, UKHSA, said: “We are working both in the UK and together with global partners to advance the research we need to better understand the virus, its transmission and best use understanding mitigations such as vaccines and treatments.”

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https://www.the-sun.com/health/5564884/who-rename-monkeypox-consider-global-emergency/ WHO is ready to rename monkeypox to hMPXV amid fears it could fuel racism

Sarah Y. Kim

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