GENEVA: The World Health Organization said on Monday (Nov 28) it would start using a new preferred term, “mpox”, as a synonym for monkeypox and urged others to follow suit after receiving complaints that the current name for the disease was racist and stigmatising.
“Both names will be used simultaneously for one year while ‘monkeypox’ is phased out,” the global health organisation said.
“WHO will adopt the term mpox in its communications, and encourages others to follow these recommendations, to minimise any ongoing negative impact of the current name and from adoption of the new name.”
The WHO launched a public consultation process to find a new name for the disease earlier this year.
One of the more popular proposals was “mpox” or “Mpox” which was put forward by a men’s health organisation RÉZO among others. Its director said at the time that the removal of monkey imagery helped people take the health emergency seriously.
Others were farcical such as “Poxy McPoxface” which alluded to Boaty McBoatface – almost the name of a British polar research vessel after a public vote on the choice.
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