Monkeypox: WHO plans to rename disease over stigma concerns

The World Health Organization is holding an open discussion board to rename the disease monkeypox, after some concerns the title might be derogatory or have racist connotations.

HOUSTON — The World Health Organization says it is holding an open discussion board to rename the disease monkeypox after some critics raised concerns the title might be derogatory or have racist connotations.

Editorial word: The above video is from a earlier story.

In a press release Friday, the U.N. well being company mentioned it has additionally renamed two households, or clades, of the virus, utilizing Roman numerals as a substitute of geographic areas, to keep away from stigmatization. The model of the disease previously often called the Congo Basin will now be often called Clade one or I and the West Africa clade shall be often called Clade two or II.

WHO mentioned the choice was made following a meeting of scientists this week and according to present finest practices for naming illnesses, which goals to “avoid causing offense to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional, or ethnic groups, and minimize any negative impact on trade, travel, tourism or animal welfare.”

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Numerous different illnesses, together with Japanese encephalitis, Marburg virus, Spanish influenza and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome have been named after the geographic areas the place they first arose or had been recognized. WHO has not publicly advised altering any of these names.

Monkeypox was first named in 1958 when analysis monkeys in Denmark had been noticed to have a “pox-like” disease, though they aren’t thought to be the animal reservoir.

WHO mentioned it was additionally opening a way for the general public to counsel new names for monkeypox, however didn’t say when any new title can be introduced.

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Meanwhile, Texas has seen a rise in confirmed monkeypox instances with 813 being reported as of Aug. 11. Harris County reported 256 of the 813 confirmed instances in Texas. The Houston Health Department has 228 instances.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner introduced the town will start testing wastewater for monkeypox prefer it’s been doing for COVID-19.

The complete Houston area has reported a complete of 315 instances, in accordance to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Here are the newest numbers from different space counties with monkeypox instances: 

For a have a look at how the Lone Star State compares to different states, examine this CDC map.

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To date, there have been greater than 31,000 instances of monkeypox recognized globally since May, with the vast majority of these past Africa. Monkeypox has been endemic in elements of central and west Africa for many years and was not identified to set off giant outbreaks past the continent till May.

WHO declared the worldwide unfold of monkeypox to be a world emergency in July and the U.S. declared its personal epidemic to be a national emergency earlier this month.

Outside of Africa, 98% of instances are in males who’ve intercourse with males. With solely a restricted international provide of vaccines, authorities are racing to cease monkeypox earlier than it turns into entrenched as a brand new disease.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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