Monkey pox: WHO renames variants considered stigmatizing


monkey poxThe WHO renames variants that are considered stigmatizing

So far named after regions or countries in Africa, the variants will soberly bear the name of clades I and II, because the virus has also been detected in America and Europe.

While the disease was long confined to a dozen African countries, the vast majority of new cases this year have been detected elsewhere in the world, particularly in the United States, Europe and Brazil.


The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Friday that it had renamed the variants of monkeypox, replacing the names of African regions with Roman numerals, which are considered stigmatizing. These new variant names make it possible to take note of the current reality of the disease. Although for a long time it was limited to ten African countries, the vast majority of new cases this year have been detected elsewhere in the world, especially in the United States, Europe and Brazil.

The WHO also says it is conducting a broad online consultation process to change the name of the disease, which is also considered misleading and discriminatory, as the virus is not only linked to monkeys but has been demonstrated in many animals, particularly in rodents.

“Not discriminatory or stigmatizing”

As for the variants, also called clades, they have until now been named after regions or countries in Africa, with the West African strain and that of the Congo Basin (Central Africa), the latter being much deadlier than its cousin.

At the beginning of June, about thirty scientists, many from Africa, therefore wrote a forum to ask to change these names, and judged it urgent to put in place “a nomenclature that is not discriminatory or stigmatizing”.

They were heard by the WHO, which brought together virologists and public health experts on August 8 to reach a consensus on a new terminology. “A consensus has been reached to designate the former Congo Basin clade as clade I and the former West African clade as clade II,” the WHO said on Friday.

Instant change

Furthermore, “It is agreed that clade II consists of two subclades. The new convention therefore includes clade I, clade IIa and clade IIb, with the latter mainly referring to the group of variants that circulate widely in the global epidemic of 2022,” the WHO added. The new names take effect immediately. The name of the disease – monkeypox – is the legacy of the conditions in which the disease was discovered in the 1950s: Danish researchers discovered it in monkeys in their laboratory.

Worldwide, more than 31,665 cases and twelve deaths have been reported, according to the WHO, which triggered its highest level of alert at the end of July to step up the fight against the disease.


See also  Social Stress: How trouble in relationships weakens our immune system



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social Media

Most Popular

On Key

Related Posts